The Funniest Obituaries Ever Written
Most of the things you’ll write in your life can be edited afterwards, but one exception is your obituary. It’s your last chance to tell the world what you think, and unsurprisingly there have been some pretty awesome examples of people using their few inches of newspaper space to make us laugh.
An obituary is, in many ways, the last big brag you can do in the world. It’s your last chance to prove just how awesome you were, and William “Freddie” McCullough was pretty damn awesome. The Bloomingdale, Georgia, man passed away in 2013 and his obit, published in the Savannah Morning News, was wall-to-wall badass. From bragging about his wheelie-popping skills on his Harley to his carpentry skills, it’s quite the read. The best bit, though, discussed Freddie’s romantic history: “There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. There isn’t enough space in the Bloomingdale phone book. A few of the more colorful ones were Momma Margie, Crazy Pam, Big Tittie Wanda, Spacy Stacy and Sweet Melissa.”
Mary A. Mullaney
Many people use their obituaries as a way to pass along some wisdom to those of us surviving in their wake. Case in point: Mary Anne “Pink” Mullaney, who opened her 2013 obit with “If you’re about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop.” Mary Anne’s family went on to share many of her favorite household tips, including advice for getting a possum out of the shed (use a barbecue brush). She also always went to church with a chicken sandwich in her purse in case she got hungry. All in all, Pink seemed like a hell of a dame and her obituary reflects that.
Walter George Bruhl Jr.
Here’s another good one from a dude who knew his time was coming and prepared a kick-ass obituary to go out with. Walter Bruhl Jr. was a technologist at DuPont who lived a full and entertaining life, and that was reflected in his obituary in the Delaware Cape Gazette. Opening up with a Monty Python riff, Bruhl then proceeded to talk about his wife “who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink,” as well as his joining the military because of “Hollywood propaganda” and his desire to not have a funeral but instead be stuffed and posed in the corner, drink in hand.
When you read through the obituary of Thurman Winston, who died at the age of 57 in Spencer, Oklahoma, you might wonder where the laughs are. Well, his widow saved it all up for one final punchline. Rita Winston crafted a touching tribute to Thurman’s life and interests, but at the end couldn’t resist taking a swipe at some of his descendants. Apparently Winston’s offspring weren’t sufficiently respectful to their dear old Dad and Rita wanted to put them on blast. The obit concluded with the sentence “He leaves to cherish his wife, children and grand kids, a host of backstabbing motherf*ckers that still owe him money.”
Count Gottfried von Bismarck
Most of the names on this list are pretty much nobodies who only got famous after they passed along. You can’t say that for Count Gottfried von Bismarck, a member of German royalty who passed on in 2006. The official obituary from the Telegraph wasted no time, describing him in the first paragraph as “a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.” Count Gottfried wasn’t shy about his love of excess, and it shows in just about every paragraph of his obit, which features cross-dressing, severed pig heads and petty arrests among its tales.
If you write your own obituary, you can use it as a chance to finally get some things off your chest that you couldn’t do in life. And Val Patterson had a lot to get off his chest. The Utah man passed away of throat cancer in 2012 and left a hilarious and bizarre obit behind. In it, he confesses to stealing a safe from a local motel as a youth, a crime that had left police baffled. But the real kicker comes later, when Patterson admits that the PhD that he used to score electrical engineering jobs wasn’t his–it was sent to him in the mail by mistake! He also mentioned that he was banned for life from both Sea World and Disneyland. Now that’s a life well-spent.
Many times, an obituary is a way for the surviving relatives of the deceased to come to terms with their loved one’s complex life. Victoria, B.C., pastor George Ferguson had a life more complicated than most. When he passed on in July of 2014, his obit led off with “He’d gladly have stolen the shirt off your back” and went on to detail the many schemes and cons he pulled over the course of his life, mostly bankrolled by lonely women from his congregation. The obituary ends with his surviving relatives discovering the massive amount of credit card debt he racked up before his passing.
When your obituary starts out with “Waffle House lost a loyal customer,” you know you’re in for a heck of a ride. St. Louis native Antonia “Toni” Larroux was a firecracker if her 2013 obituary is anything to go by. In just the first paragraph you learn that her ex-husband used to call her “Polio Legs” and that she wasn’t really sure how many children she had. The laughs just kept coming throughout, including her wish that the smoking room at her old office be dedicated to her. Probably the best paragraph is the one about how she had the “ability with family pets to usher them toward heaven at an unrivaled pace.” Here’s hoping they were all up there waiting for you, Toni.
If there’s one kind of person who could make an obituary sizzle, it’s an advertising man. Kevin McGroarty was a veteran of the trade, and when he knew he was in his last days he took the time to write a hilarious obit to be published in the Pittsburgh Times-Leader. Starting with the headline “McGroarty Achieves Room Temperature,” the obit mentions his crusade to promote “area midget wrestling” and the fact that he had no children (but if he did, he came up with very good names for them). The kicker is the curt reminder McGroarty left behind to his friends: “Please don’t email me, I’m dead.”
Let’s close this out with an obit that traffics in some seriously black humor. From all accounts, Marianne Johnson-Reddick was a horrible excuse for a mother, so when she passed away in August of 2013 her children got together to pen probably the meanest obituary of all time. Appearing in the pages of the Reno Gazette-Journal, the obit opens up with “She is survived by 6 of her 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible.” Although it doesn’t go into detail about Marianne’s nasty habits, the level of vitriol on display is a good lesson that it’s always nicer to be nice.