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Obituary's Inside Joke

Flickr / Creative Commons / Jeff Krause

Why would a loving daughter begin her mother's obituary with "Ding dong the witch is dead?"

A great obituary tells readers more about you than just what you did with your life. The great ones give readers a better sense of how you lived your life and what kind of a person you were. The obituary for Johanna Scarpitti, written by one of her daughters, does just that with the inclusion of one seemingly vindictive line in the first paragraph:

"Ding dong the witch is dead..."

It is not a condemnation of Scarpitti's life, however, according to Rather the phrase is an inside joke between the mother and her daughter Assunta Lucy. The pair shared an abiding love for "The Wizard of Oz," and Scarpitti made her daughter promise to add a reference to the film in her obituary, Lucy said.

As an additional nod to the film she and her daughter loved to watch together, Scarpitti was buried wearing black-and-white striped stockings and ruby slippers.