2012.04.18 Doubt her perfection? Just read her obituary

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

I can’t help but notice that newspaper obituaries keep getting more creative. At least many of the ones I’ve seen lately are including more strange and sometimes even mystifying information. Out of respect for the deceased, I’ve changed all names and dates and no local obits are included.

You wouldn’t think that a person’s birth would be that out of the ordinary, but there’s the story of Bob, who was “born April 7, 1947 in a toilet.” I wouldn’t mind hearing more about that, as well as a few more details about Jim, who “came into this world on October 23, 1959, via a free ride in a paddy wagon.” So were the police giving his mother a ride to the hospital, or was she under arrest?

That obit went on to say that Jim “loved Hershey candy bars, Black Russians, boating, playing Euchre and coin collecting...most of his spare time was spent fixing everything that “Helen” broke (which became a full-time job). Sledgehammers are not guaranteed for life.” Sounds like an interesting guy.

Then there’s Dale, who “walked to the beat of his own drum, held various jobs and was willing to help anyone for $20 bucks.” And I’m sure that none of her friends could ever forget Ethel, who was known “for her knack for spontaneously bursting into show tunes.”

I got a kick reading about Sherry, who “was a bowler in her early years and participated on a team with nurse friends. After bowling, the Canasta game started and the beer drinking continued.” I wonder if she ever met Gary, who “was great with a potato launcher and famous for his 5-egg broom trick.”  I’m sorry he’s no longer with us. I’d really like to know what a 5-egg broom trick is.

From his obit, Ray seems to have been quite a character as “those who were part of Ray’s life will remember such things as ‘squaw hash,’ ‘alligator meat,’ morning dips in Long Lake, the umbrella hat and bagpipe practice, if not particularly fondly, at least with the sort of smile and good humor that he always had for everyone.”

Patricia, who “could give directions that would rival Mapquest,” is probably greatly missed by her friends, as well as Frank, who “was a consummate storyteller and could turn the most mundane trip to the hardware store into an epic conquest.”

Even though he was born and lived his life in the suburbs, Don was “a farm boy at heart; seeing, hearing or talking about a classic John Deere tractor could bring a smile to his face and a tear to his eye.” Kevin, on the other hand, “enjoyed cutting grass on his Cleveland Browns custom riding lawnmower. Kevin also showed his artistic side by collecting and painting rocks, each with a humorous ‘Kevin-like’ saying.”

Other folks were into popular culture like Tim, who “had a love for music and enjoyed bands such as The Who, Eric Clapton and The Allman Brothers.” Television fans included Pat who “enjoyed watching  wrestling and his favorite TV shows—Man vs. Food and Sons of Anarchy,” and Lola, who liked “Days of Our Lives, Ellen, Sanford and Son and the Sunday Catholic Mass.”

Of course, some people even try to use their obit to enhance their image, like Sally, who was “a brilliant woman...she abhorred self-imposed illiteracy and illogical stupidity while retaining her faith in the federal government.” Wait a minute. Aren’t having faith in the government and opposing illogical stupidity mutually exclusive? Think about that for a minute, then we’ll continue.

Sally was also “a delight at family gatherings...she waited for the opportune moment to raise unexpected and thought-provoking comments. She then sat back and watched the debates expand their parameters.” I’m getting the impression that Sally wrote this herself, how about you?

Late in life, Sally had to enter an assisted living facility. While there, she “became a beloved resident, again giving wise and gentle counsel to any who wished to learn.” There’s no longer any doubt in my mind that she wrote her own obit. And for you comic strip fans out there, doesn’t she remind you a lot of Mary Worth?

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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