9 Of The Most Incredible Obituaries Ever Written

incredible-obituaries

Obituaries are one of the most unique forms of literature ever written.

They’re one of the few writings that truly capture someone’s life… if written correctly.

Over the years, we’ve seen many people deciding that the traditional obituary is not for them. Instead, many people today want an obituary that’s memorable and not cookie cutter. One that makes you laugh, cry, or inspires you. We don’t know about you, but a good obituary can truly leave an impression on us. And that’s why we’ve come up with our nine favorite obituaries ever written. But beware: laughter, tears, and inspiration are ahead.

1. Mary A. “Pink” Mullaney

You know when an obituary starts off saying “If you’re about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop” that it’s going to be a great one. This hilarious yet touching obituary continues by explaining all of the lessons we can learn from Mary: “We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Pink during her 85 years, among them: Never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, child-proof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments. Also: If a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn’t leave, brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay.”

Read the full obituary here.

2. Jane Catherine Lotter

This self-written obituary was published by the author of the widely known “The Bette Davis Club”, Jane Catherine, when she realized her time on Earth was coming to an end. She begins her obituary by saying “One of the few advantages of dying from Grade 3, Stage IIIC endometrial cancer, recurrent and metastasized to the liver and abdomen, is that you have time to write your own obituary. (The other advantages are no longer bothering with sunscreen and no longer worrying about your cholesterol.).” We love this obituary because instead of counting career achievements, Jane uses the words of her obituary to thank the people closest to her for teaching her, loving her and being in her life. This obituary is both beautiful and transcendental, and that’s why we love it.

Read the full obituary here.

3. Walter George Bruhl, Jr.

incredible-obituaries-1

This gem of an obituary came our way through Facebook. Posted by his grandson, he explains “Typical of my PopPop: he cut out the middleman and wrote his own damn obituary. He’s the only man I’ve ever known to be able to add his own humor like this. So glad I got to read one more thing from my favorite writer.” Not only is this obituary self-written and hilarious, but it’s also inspiring. At the end of the obituary, Walter requests that “Instead of flowers, Walt would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor unfortunate soul in his name”.

Read the full obituary here.

4. Harry Stamps

harry-stamps

Out of all the obituaries listed here, Harry Stamps’ obituary takes the cake. Written by his daughter, Amanda Lewis, this obituary is probably the funniest piece of literature we’ve ever read. In her father’s obituary, Amanda describes her father as a ladies man who didn’t take fashion cues from anyone. She goes on to tell us that he had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, hated Martha Stewart and cats, and belonged to a Bacon of The Month Club. Harry’s last wish? “Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord’s Time.”

Read the full obituary here.

5. Lou Reed

incredible-obituaries-2

This isn’t so much an obituary as it is a letter to the people who knew Lou, but it’s beautiful and deserves a spot on this list. Lou’s wife wrote this obituary for Lou, and you can’t help but get teary-eyed when you make it to the concluding sentence that reads “Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.”

Read the full obituary here

6. William “Freddie” McCullough

Just like Harry Stamps, William “Freddie” McCullough seems like one heck of a man. His epically hilarious and witty obituary is one of our favorites because of it’s offbeat language and tone. It’s a great contrast to the cookie cutter obituaries you see in the newspaper everyday. Our favorite part? “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.”

Read the full obituary here.

7. Nevena Ann Topic

We’re not sure who wrote Ann’s obituary, but whoever did should be honored for their ability to write such a touching yet simple message honoring her life. The obituary takes a different approach to death, referring to it as a “call”, where the author writes “Ann would like to let you know that her work here is done. She received a call, a sort of an offer you can’t refuse, for an appointment from which she will not be returning. This assignment comes with a huge sign-on bonus, a reunion with family and friends she has not seen in a long time.”

Read the full obituary here.

8. Duck “Doug” Silverman

duck-silverman

It’s not everyday that you read an obituary about a pet. But the actress and comedian, Sarah Silverman, took a stab at writing her first her obituary for the love of her life… her dog named Duck. Oddly enough, this obituary was the one who brought tears to our eyes the fastest, especially when she says, “I held him close in our usual spoon position and stroked him. I told him how loved he was, and thanked him for giving me such happiness and for his unwavering companionship and love.” The way Sarah describes her love for Duck is the way you’d describe the kind of love you’ve had all of your life, and that’s why her touching tribute to Duck deserves a spot on this list.

Read the full obituary here

9. Spencer Watson Seupel

If your son committed suicide, the hardest thing you could ever do is write his obituary. But Spencer’s mom, in the midst of her grief, wrote one of the most beautifully written obituaries we’ve ever read. This obituary isn’t even just an obituary; It’s a message that Spencer’s mom has for the world about suicide. Her message is this: “Now Spencer, finally, is at rest, and I hold him close within me. Please hold him close, as I do, in your mind and your spirit. Remember the meaning of this tragedy. If a young man or woman says maybe I’ll kill myself, tell someone. Don’t leave him alone. If a young man or woman drinks too much, say something. It’s not a game; it’s a symptom. And let us find and encourage within ourselves, within our society, those gifts that make each of us special: not star power, not intellectual prowess, but the ineffable mystery and extraordinary beauty of the simple human heart.”

Read the full obituary here

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What’s the best obituary you’ve ever read? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Rochelle Rietow

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  5. sylvia

    The most beautiful and important obituary I have written to date would be that of the wonderful man I called daddy for most of my life …
    http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/ivpressonline/obituary.aspx?n=jose-ricardo-ayala&pid=170912362&referrer=0&preview=false

  6. Ann Pollert

    These are great! Thanks for posting.

  7. kristin howard

    I was asked to write my dad’s obituary and eulogy and it was a pleasure to honor him in a manner I believe he would have truly appreciated.
    There was a follow-up letter to the editor commenting on the obituary:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1571917956157139&set=p.1571917956157139&type=3&theater

  8. Laine Alex Moore

    The obituary I wrote for my husband, Lorenzo Moore. I was tired of impersonal, cookie-cutter obituaries.
    http://www.elliottmortuary.com/home/index.cfm?action=obituaries.obit_view&o_id=657899&fh_id=10406

  9. Hawkeye Haven

    Please see the obituary of Teresa Haven listed at http://www.norvelowensmortuary.com in 2016. Feedback welcome. Thank you.

  10. Pamela R Ashworth

    The courage and the pain that Robin Willams had, yet kept going to the very end. There are so many people like this that we do not know, That wind up take this route not due to course. But keep their family spared from excess pain, speculcation and gossip. I have known quite a few my line to take their lives’ and I do believe they were not only`God understood all, as he always does, and forgives.

  11. Noel Provost

    This obituary appeared in the in the Website of the Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Funeral Home website. (www.grunnagle.com).

    John (Jack) Provost
    10/21/1931 – 2/14/2017

    If you are reading this autobituary it means that I died. In planning for the last story of my life I knew that I would need to live an active, interesting and meaningful life so you wouldn’t be bored. I hope you aren’t disappointed.

    I’ll start it with, “Wow what a ride!” I was born in New Bedford Massachusetts to Blanch and Henry Provost. After high school I spent 4 years in the Navy then headed West and in 1959 landed in Gilroy CA where I married Allyce (Penny) Christianson and where we raised our sons Noel and Brian.

    I started my working life as an engineer at United Technology Center in Sunnyvale and Coyote, CA then in 1973 took ownership of a 7-11 Store in Gilroy. Then in 1991, Penny and I moved to Arizona for the rest of our lives.

    It is a bummer that I died from a heart attack when there were so many thrill seeking adrenalin pumping adventures where I thought I was going to die but didn’t. Such as the hundreds of thousands of miles that I logged as I crissed and crossed the continental United States on my motorcycle(s), crashing several times…Bungee Jumping the Macau Tower in New Zealand…Diving at the Great Barrier Reef, and with the Great White Sharks and the Saltwater Crocodiles in the cage of Death in Australia…And, running with the Bulls in Spain.

    I also embarked on adventures in my own backyard such as tandem skydiving, whitewater rafting the Colorado River and traveling through and exploring the Desert landscape that occupies Arizona.

    Penny passed away in December of 2007. A few years later I recruited a new partner in crime, Norma Smith who rode shotgun through our journeys, and the rest of my life. She bandaged and helped me to take care of me until the next pursuit of excitement. Together we enjoyed backstage concert passes to Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi concerts and many other quality pleasures.

    I am preceded in death by my wife Penny and my son Brian. I am survived by my son Noel and his wife Katherine; my grandson’s Mitchell, Nicholas and Tyler; and my great granddaughters Mia and Natalie.

    Some more interesting and fun facts about me include:
    My Passport doesn’t require a photograph.
    When I go to Spain I chase the bulls.
    Sharks have a week dedicated to me.
    I am the most interesting man in the world. Stay thirsty my friend!

    And so…now I am on to my next great journey. CIAO.

  12. R S Prasad

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1402148096597313&set=a.1402148066597316.1073741851.100004064083685&type=3&theater

    An obituary written from heart will always pull the strings in your heart when you read it. I read this every week. It helps me to be a better person.

    Short and full of message. I hope anyone who read it will agree to what she has written.

  13. Amy Giglio

    Theodore T. Taylor Giglio, AKA Teddy “The Toolman,” 18, passed away peacefully on November 11, 2017 while basking in the sun. He was preceded in death by pretty much all of his contemporaries (he was EIGHTEEN), but most fondly by Puzo, his “sister from another mister.” He is survived by his 3 parents (it’s complicated), one kid-sibling (Charlie) and three fur-siblings (Luca, Puzo and Sisty).

    Not much is known about his younger years, and he never spoke of his life “pre- rescue.” A flamboyant little fellow, his toenails were purple and his collar was sparkly and – frankly – pretty girly when he was found blissfully frolicking in traffic. I️ tucked him under my arm and knocked on doors for hours looking for his people.

    For a month i searched in every way for his pack, but Nobody claimed to have lost a little chi mix with cross-dressing tendencies. We had three dogs already, and though I️ loved this little big man with every cell in my body, our other dogs didn’t…so rehoming was the plan.

    Even the best laid plans…well, you know the saying. Basically, Teddy never left.

    Teds was a little big dog. He was small, but he acted like he was huge, lived large, and loved immeasurably. He never met a person he didn’t completely adore….or another dog, a child, or a blanket. He loved to snuggle, to be in your lap or pressed so close to you that you felt his pulse thumping.

    In his free time, which was all the time, Teddy enjoyed expanding his belly-freckle collection by sleeping in what can only be described as the blazing heat of a thousand suns. He kissed full-on with gusto (careful— close your mouth!) and he loved nothing more than to shed all over a pile of clean clothes as he burrowed to the middle.

    If it was dinner time, no…if it was 2 or less hours until dinner time, he screamed (not barked- screamed) until he was fed. Teddy was no shrinking violet. He screamed in the car, and he screamed upon occasion if he felt your attention might be on something besides him. The screaming was not of this world. It made one wish for pencils to poke one’s own eyes out. It was fingernails on a chalkboard times a billion.

    He lost his hearing and then his sight, but he was always and forever the Alpha. He was the boss of a shepherd, a hound and a pit mix who outweighed him by 60 pounds…oh, and a 12-year-old and two middle-aged parents who worshipped the ground he walked on. Teddy called the shots, always. Even at the end.

    We found him lying in a beam of sunlight, as if sleeping the day away. So many times before we’d stared really, really hard to see his side rise and fall, to make sure he was still breathing as he slept. I️’d even gently poked him some mornings, just to see him move and to ease my mind— but this time was different. I️ KNEW before I️ knew, if that makes any sense.

    He’d left us just as abruptly as he’d found us. It’s still sinking in — our new reality. It’s too painful to face head-on, all at once – so every day I️ cry a few more tears and try to make peace with what has happened. It’s super slow going.

    We love you BIG, little man, and we’ll see you again.
    I’m sure of it.

  14. Bill Leary

    Please consider this obituary for my friend Dick Neilsen:

    The remarkable Richard (Dick) Neilsen, accomplished cook, actor and vocalist, landscape artist, golf enthusiast, and food industry leader, passed away on Thursday, August 23, 2018, three weeks after celebrating his 78th birthday.
     
    Known as “Richard,” “Poppi” and “Uncle Dick” in his family, “The Elder Statesman” in his golfing group, and “Rabbit” when he was president of his college fraternity, Dick impressed people throughout his life as a natural leader.  Business colleagues and friends admired his old school values, integrity and inclusiveness.  He listened. A favorite saying of his was “seek to understand before being understood.”
     
    The son of a brick-layer in Idaho, Dick appreciated the skill involved, but sought other paths.  He served in the Army in Korea and, though proclaimed by a senior officer as the best Second Lieutenant he had ever seen, chose not to re-up.  Instead, he traveled around France for a couple of years in a small camper discovering himself and his love of food.  He began his career with Dole Foods running its pineapple operations on Maui.  In Sonoma County, California he worked with several food companies, notably Mezzetta, Mayacamas and Spectrum Naturals.  He finished his career as manager of McEvoy Ranch and broadened its olive oil business to include wine and a line of olive oil-based beauty products.  
     
    Dick relished his role as mentor and earned the respect and adoration of his colleagues, especially the many women whom he employed, encouraged and promoted.  Dick preferred to meet with customers, vendors or employees in person and over lunch, especially if veal piccata was on the menu.   He always put people before business and insisted that relationships are what make a business – not transactions.  Dick was kind, compassionate and generous.
     
    Dick was an accomplished cook who owned a library of cookbooks, including those of his favorite, Julia Child.  He often saw recipe ingredients as mere suggestions, readily improved upon by what he found in his pantry.   He admitted he was somewhat messy though and, while orchestrating a complex meal, his kitchen often looked like it had been hit by a bobcat. Dick’s food passions were eclectic, ranging from extra virgin olive oils and homemade pizza and turkey to guava juice and gummy bears.
     
    He loved golf jokes, corny puns and the Japanese poetry haiku. He would often create a tune for his most confounding haiku and sing them as he sauntered about the house.  
     
    Dick was the sort of man who enjoyed shopping so kept his wardrobe overstocked.  He liked casual elegance.  Typically for a golfer, he liked color, though his combinations were never jolting.  He had a flair for sport coats that evoked an elegant and dapper life and had fun with hats, including the dinner party to which he wore a coonskin cap that resembled a beaver.  As was his wont, he had found it on sale.
     
    Some of Dick’s happiest times involved his golfing group that took annual pilgrimages to Bandon Dunes in Oregon and other great courses, including several in Scotland and Ireland.  While others in the group were still recovering from late night carousing, Dick would greet the dawn at the practice tee.  A high point for Dick was playing the famous Princeville Makai golf course on Kauai while sharing a cart with the course architect himself, the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Jr.  
     
    Dick enjoyed acting with the Sausalito Players at the Sausalito Woman’s Club and was an accomplished vocalist.  His performances in Marin County included singing as Frank Sinatra in a Rat Pack tribute group.   Dick enjoyed theater, ballet and shopping for art at galleries and festivals, especially the Sausalito Art Festival.  Even near the end, Dick’s own creativity was in full bloom.  He was a prolific landscape artist who produced several oil paintings as gifts for friends and family that evoked special memories.  
     
    Family was vitally important to Dick, so his last best idea was to begin a family newsletter for what he called the Five Arms of a Family, including five related family names molded together through him. Kristin Quinby, his daughter-in-law, published the first issue last month with contributions from everyone and Dick couldn’t stop smiling.

  15. Nicholas Giraldo

    Found this gem of an obit. https://www.wyomingnews.com/milestones/obituaries/thomas-barks/article_9115dc9e-0359-11e9-a434-f7c7fd319852.html

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  17. Rilee Chastain

    Wow! What an obituary! We’re looking into adding to this post in the future and would love to feature yours! Will keep you in the loop, thank you!

  18. Rilee Chastain

    What a beautiful obituary, thanks so much for sharing it!

  19. Deborah McDonald

    Gregory Bruce Shriver, R.I.P.
    Gregory Bruce Shriver
    July 27, 1954 – November 29, 2009

    Greg Shriver passed on to another reality several weeks ago while visiting his parents in NY. He had some health issues from a near fatal auto accident years ago that contributed to his demise. His death was rather sudden and he leaves many friends and compatriots to mourn his absence.
    Greg was a very unique individual. A child of the sixties, he dutifully questioned authority and searched for the deeper meaning of all things. He would whimsically state that he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan.
    He was incredibly articulate and a visionary. Renaissance man and genius would be appropriate descriptions. Greg also had a gift of “golden ears” that many audio experts would be envious of. He could design an entire broadcast station, corporate a/v facility, or theater rigging system on a cocktail napkin and then develop that concept from sketch to the nuts and bolts of the system. Plus write a manual on how to operate it.
    Greg ‘s survivors include two former wives, Bonnie and Deborah; two children Nicholas and Joyce; two former stepchildren Blue and Robert .
    We can imagine Greg now at peace hangin out with his best friend, Gabe, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, drinking a strong cup of coffee or snifter of Remy, and philosophizing in way more than ‘twenty words or less’.
    A service in remembrance of his life will be held 4pm, Monday, December 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Durham NC. All are welcome.

  20. Rilee Chastain

    Thanks for sharing this with us! God bless!