House For Sale!

Roy Edward OaklundRoy died. House for sale! I have always wanted to say that in my obituary! Cancer got me, but who wants to live forever?

That’s how Roy Edward Oaklund, 94, began his own obituary in the Idaho Press Tribune. Oaklund provided details and comments about the places he lived, the jobs he held and the women he loved.

He earned money by driving fuel and beer trucks before he was 16.

“After a stint of shoveling coal into boxcars in 100 degree heat, my brother, Ralph, and I decided to head out to Idaho and wound up getting jobs in an ice house.”

Oaklund met his first wife, Dorothy, at a Rollerdome in Nampa, Idaho.

He worked in a gold mine in Oregon and in lumber in the state of Washington.

“I tried to join the Navy a couple of times but Uncle Sam wouldn’t let me...he needed boards more than he needed me.”

After World War II, Oaklund “tried farming and the railroad for a while.” He ended up having a career in insurance.

“Sadly, we lost Dorothy in 1987 after 46 cherished years. Eventually, Fay Jacobs came along and we melded our hearts and a new family of 11 children and a host of grandchildren.”

He wrote: “I was so blessed to have two wonderful women in my life! I have no regrets and wouldn’t change a thing!”

Oaklund ended his obit with this request: “Roy’s favorite charity is Hope House, PO Box 550, Marsing, ID 83659, a foster home for abandoned or disabled children. Please support them in Roy’s memory if you wish. He’ll haunt anybody who sends flowers!”


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