At first, I thought what a ridiculous obituary. Almost 2 full columns in the paper with sentences like, "Over the years they [the deceased and his wife] have had many dogs and innumerable cats in their personal care." Really?
But then it was like reading a book and getting to know the guy. "He was an indefatigable shopper at garage sales. He will be sorely missed at Hudson Salvage. [Are you serious?] Ready for every emergency he had one of the largest private collections of flashlights, batteries, chainsaws and other supplies. [He hasn't seen my father-in-law's barn!] He was rather famous for giving unsolicited advice to his tenants, merchants and friends. We recently found in a file a letter to PetSmart recommending a different way to package cat food."
By then I was hooked. There were paragraphs about his philanthropy to the Boy Scouts, local university, and various charities. "Other than one trip around the world on his way back from service in Vietnam he never took a vacation." Then the one that made me laugh out loud, "He had many long term business partnerships with various prominent businessmen and women all of whom can attest that he never arrived to a meeting on time, contending that he was 'born late' and had never been able to catch up."
When I finished, I felt like I knew this guy. Somebody did a really nice job of writing this obituary - he was obviously well-loved. That made me think of my dad. We didn't do anything special with his obituary, but we spent some time thinking about the headstone. (My first thought had been, "He stopped loving her today" from the Conway Twitty song, but I was overruled.) We came up with "Our fun dad. Adored by all for his humor, he shaped our life with his love and child-at-heart nature."
Man, I hope somebody will write something good for me when I die. Something like, "She couldn't match up her stripes consistently, but God seems to have put her in the right place at the right time for a couple of people." That would be nice.