Writing an obituary is often, of course, a very somber task to undertake. But in recent years, a growing number of tributes have been infused with both humor and sentimentality. Here are five of the funniest obits we’ve read.
1. William “Freddie” McCullough’s obit claims the Georgia man “adored the ladies” but hated vegetables. McCullough, who died on Sept. 11, 2013, apparently also loved to tell tales.
His obit said: “Freddie was killed when he rushed into a burning orphanage to save a group of adorable children. Or maybe not. We all know how he liked to tell stories.”
The tribute also recalled how he adored women, and they adored him. “There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy’s.”
It goes on to say that Freddie “loved deep fried Southern food smothered in Cane Syrup, Fishing at Santee Cooper Lake, Little Debbie Cakes, ‘Two and a Half Men,’ beautiful women, Reese’s Cups and Jim Beam. Not necessarily in that order.”
The Wisconsin doctor apparently had a great sense of humor. She wrote: “Kay Ann Heggestad, age 72, bought the farm, is no more, has ceased to be, left this world, is bereft of life, gave up the ghost, kicked the bucket, murió, c'est fini. She died on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, after a wimpy non-battle with multiple myeloma, a nasty bone marrow cancer, after almost two years to the date of diagnosis. No one should say she fought a courageous battle, because she did not! Unlike most folks, she complained all the way. What a whiner! She was ready to quit treatment many times, but her family pushed her to continue, which was good, since she then had time to have parties and say goodbye to friends and relatives.”
She poked fun at herself, too. “She tried to learn Spanish for 12 years, achieving the ability to order beer and find a bathroom.”
3. Before Chris Connors, 67, became ill and then died in December 2016, he talked about his obituary with family members. His wish: “I just want you to make it funny.” And they did.
“Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey” begins the obit. It goes on to say that “He lived 1,000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him, because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it and swung it back onto the dance floor.”
“Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors,” the memorial added.
4. When William Ziegler, 69, died in July 2016, his four children decided the best way to commemorate their late father, who loved to laugh, was through humor.
“William Ziegler escaped the mortal real on Friday, July 29, 2016, at the age of 69… Unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends. He assures us that he is gone. He will be greatly missed.”
The obit also highlighted Ziegler’s love for “potted meats,” his “alcoholic dog” and the “morons and mental patients” he used to work with. The four children asked well-wishers to simply write a farewell note on a can of Schaefer Light beer and drink it in their father’s honor, in lieu of holding a service.
5. Finally, Walter Bruhl Jr. was 80 when he died in March 2014, but before he passed, he wanted to be sure he had the last laugh.
He wrote his own obituary, complete with fill-in-the-blank spaces for the date and location of his death — and a few inside jokes. It said: “There will be no viewing, since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors.”
The tribute also notes that Bruhl was preceded in death by his “tonsils and adenoids in 1935, a spinal disc in 1974, a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988, and his prostate on March 27, 2000.”
The piece does end on a tender note, asking friends and family to perform an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor soul in Bruhl’s name, instead of sending flowers.