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The Art of the Whimsical Paid Death Notice

The good people at the mortality-centric website Obit scan death notices in newspapers far and wide. It’s a respectable mission, especially when it turns up gems like the obituary for “teetotaling mother and an indifferent housekeeper” Nancy Hixson. Want to know how to write an obituary? You can read the entire notice over at Obit. Don’t settle for this irresistible and inspiring taste:

(NANCY) LEE HIXSON of Danville, Ohio died at sunrise on June 30, 2009 … In addition to being a teetotaling mother and an indifferent housekeeper, she was a board certified naturopath specializing in poisonous and medicinal plants; but she would like to point out, posthumously, that although it did occur to her, she never spiked anyone's tea. She often volunteered as an ombudsman to help disadvantaged teens find college funding and early opened her home to many children of poverty, raising several of them to successful, if unwilling, adulthood … She was the CEO of the Cuyahoga Valley Center of Outdoor Leadership Training, where she lived in a remote and tiny one-room cabin in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Despite the lack of cabin space and dining table, she often served holiday dinners to friends and relatives and could seat twenty at the bed. She lived the last twenty-three years at Winter Spring Farm near Danville where she built a private Stonehenge, and planted and helped save from extinction nearly 50 varieties of antique apple trees, many listed in A.J. Downing's famous orchard guide of 1859 … She was predeceased by her father Dwight Edward Wood of the Ohio pioneer Wood family of Byhalia, who died in the Columbus Jail having been accused of a dreadful crime … Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, please pray for the Constitution of the United States. 

Onward Nancy Hixson, wherever you are.

Source: Obit 

kw
7/7/2009 2:07:28 PM

I read this yesterday and nearly teared up. It reminds me of that long told advice of "write your own obituary" that you hear time and time again. I better get cracking.