I’ve become one of those people: I read obituaries daily. Not just locally but from five other communities in the Midwest.
Legacy.com sends me daily email updates. Why five newspapers/communities? Because I was an itinerate worker back in the day. We lived in six different communities but the first my first job and I didn’t know anybody. I worked in the newspaper business first as an advertising sales rep and eventually was publisher for four different newspapers in four different communities.
So I knew people. Not KNOW know but knew I their names. And now they are dying. So I look at the obits for familar names.
Fun. Like Juanita Dick. If the Boonville Daily News got pranked, I really feel for them. But since the obit is still posted, I guess it’s real. The internet made it really easy to fake obits and submit them. I think (hope) now, the poor schlub at the newspaper that has to approve them is very careful.
There’s even a place where you can buy an obit
Even obits unlike Juanita Dick’s can be laffable.
A recent obit was written like… James E. (Jimmy) Jones, known to his family as Petey. He worked for 32 years at XYZ company where his friends called him Shorty.
I hated when newspapers started charging for obits. I avoided it at the newspapers I ran. Back then, there were two times an ordinary citizen got their name in the paper: when they were born and when they died. And the corporate over-lords decided to go for a money grab among the family of the dead.
Schwartz dies and his widow calls the New York Times and asks the price of an obituary. She is told it’s $10 per word. Okay, she said, have it read, “Schwartz dead” The clerk then tells her there is a $50 minimum, for which you get 5 words. Okay, she said, have it say, “Schwartz dead, Cadillac for sale.
I found out recently that the secretary (not adminstrative assistant) to the owner of one of the newspaper chains I worked for died just a few blocks away.
And of course, there are scams that use obituaries to get more than enough information to set up a identity-theft scam. Recently, an obit ran three full newspaper columns long. This on top of the newspaper feature story about the decedent who was active in the community for decades. They included everything but the geezer’s Social Security Number.
Life goes on. Until it doesn’t.