Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Kindred Spirit

Dave at OakvilleBlackWalnut finds humor in the obituaries of strangers. An admirable quality, I think, so long as one doesn't laugh at every death notice one reads.


I'd be surprised if there weren't more obits like this, especially politically-themed grousings. And although some might think it's tacky, I'll admit to wondering what my ancestors would have complained about in their obits. Like it or not, such information does help paint a picture of the deceased's personality.


I wrote a few months ago about an obituary that stated "In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans."

It's the ultimate way to get the last word.

BTW, the obit you cited inspired a whole segment on last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.


Cool, I'll have to keep an eye out for the audio or video.



Here is the best obituary I've seen to date:

This obituary is from the "Clio Messenger," October 5, 1933, Clio (Genesee County) Michigan. Montrose is a small town near Clio.

"Montrose lost one of its former residents this week when Peter Leonard died at the home of his daughter in Flint. Pete was probably one the worst old reprobates that ever graced the streets of Montrose.

“Always a trouble-maker without a good word for man, woman or child -- words of truth probably never passed from his mouth for many of the fifty years of his depredations on earth.

“Unprincipled from the years that the writer knew him, meanness far surpassed any thoughts of goodness that the average person would command and exemplify.

“He has passed on, and it is not likely that Montrose will ever have another resident his equal -- at least most people have their ‘moments of decency.’ May his sojourn in Hell be as lengthy as his cursed days on earth is the wish of his many enemies."

Ralph C. Gillett, Editor and Publisher


Ouch! Either Peter Leonard was a truly evil man or Ralph C. Gillett woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I wonder what Peter's daughter thought of this "eulogy."

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