Scrabble Points

Countless families have considered their late loved ones’ love of and talent for playing Scrabble significant enough to mention in their obituaries.

Some obits elaborate on the Scrabble player’s devotion to the word-puzzle board game.

Terry Oblander (Akron Beacon Journal)For example, Terry Oblander, 64, who had been a reporter for three northeast Ohio daily newspapers, learned at a young age that “he could instantly unscramble words,” his fellow reporter Grant Segall wrote in the news obituary published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He won many Scrabble tournaments over the years and organized a few.”

Segall added: “For the past 10 years, he tickled Plain Dealer readers six days a week with Public Squares, a puzzle of scrambled words and homegrown puns.”

Oblander’s obituary also mentions his love for Scrabble and other word games.

Jean Carol (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)Jean A. Carol was “a nationally ranked championship Scrabble player and inveterate traveler who especially enjoyed Scrabble cruises, including to the Galapagos Islands, through the Panama Canal, to Australia and New Zealand, to Scandinavia, and to the Greek Islands,” according to the obituary in the Rochester (New York) Democrat and Chronicle.

The Cincinnati native was “ranked as the top player in the state of Ohio for many years,” the obit said.

The brief obit in the Los Angeles Times for Suzanne “Susie” Page said little more than that she was an “international cat show judge and author and a member of the North American Scrabble Players Association.”

Rose Romanow (Heritage Newspapers)Rose Romanow, who taught various languages at the elementary and secondary levels over 45 years, “could beat anyone in Scrabble, spell every word in the English language, solve all crossword puzzles put in front of her, and had a true passion for and understanding of classical music, opera, musicals, and live performances,” according to the obit published in Heritage newspapers of Michigan.


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.