Harry Potter fans

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, movies and themes have become so much a part of modern culture that countless obituaries include the fact that the decedents were HP fans.

Rachel Shockley (The Daily Times of Maryland)The degree of Rachel A. Shockley’s love of Harry Potter books and films was highlighted in her obituary in The Daily Times of Maryland.

Shockley, a resident of Salisbury, Maryland, who died June 22 at age 20, “attended a Harry Potter Symposium in Canada, wrote fan fiction and was looking forward to attending the premier of the final movie with her friends,” according to the obituary.

In some ways, she took up the Potter mantle in her own life, the obit indicated.

Rachel wrote on Facebook: “A 19 year old with cancer for the second time, on a mission to make a difference. Somehow.”

Said her family in the obituary: “Rachel didn’t realize how many lives she had touched and inspired with her love, compassion, courage and wisdom.”

Roderick Johnson (Post Tribune)Another HP fan Roderick “Rod” Johnson, 59, of Gary, Indiana, was a member of Service Employees International Union Local 73 of Illinois and Northwest Indiana. He served the citizens of Gary as an employee of the city, as well as through his work with mental health organizations and legal aid.

His family wrote in his obit that Johnson “was a hard worker, an avid reader, fisherman, and lover of movies, especially the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series.”

And Thomas D. Loden, 65, a Pacific Bell retiree and Air Force veteran, “looked forward each year to Thanksgiving visits with his family to discuss the latest Harry Potter book with his nieces, whom he doted on, and to take them to the holiday Harry Potter movie release,” according to the obit in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.


This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.