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Funny Obituaries

by Stephen Segal

In a section of the news that usually inspires tears, a few unique souls would rather make us laugh.

In a section of the news that usually inspires tears — the obituaries — there are a few unique souls who would rather make us laugh. They’re the folks who are remembered after their deaths with obituaries that are as funny as they were in life.

Whether they wrote their own laugh-riots before they died or inspired their survivors to honor them with chuckle-worthy tributes, the people on this page have one thing in common: They had a sense of humor. We hope you’ll smile as you remember them — it seems like that’s what they would have wanted.


Joe Heller lived to make people laugh (mostly himself)

The hilarious obituary for prankster Joe Heller includes one zinger after another. One of our favorites: “He met the love of his life, Irene, who was hoodwinked into thinking he was a charming individual with decorum. Boy, was she ever wrong…”

Jan Lois Lynch lived life to the fullest

What’s not to love about a woman who loved her children and grandchildren — almost as much as she loved the Boston Red Sox, cold Budweiser, room temperature Budweiser, cigarettes, airplane food, and the OJ trial? Read more

Who was the real Rick Stein? (And where is he anyway?)

Rick Stein “was reported missing and presumed dead on September 27, 2018,” after the single-engine plane he was piloting lost contact and disappeared off the Atlantic coast. Investigators are perplexed as, according to his family, Stein didn’t know how to fly a plane. Also, his family can’t quite seem to agree on exactly what Stein did for a living: Was he a restaurant owner? A jeweler? A sports journalist? A trail guide in the Rockies? Or a YouTube star? Accounts vary, but one thing is certain: Rick Stein will be missed. Read more

Jeffery Alan Boughton is missing!

62-year-old Jeff Boughton of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, died August 7, 2018. “We have been looking for him ever since,” says his family in the obituary. “In the past Jeff may have been found at a car auction or yard sale with his father… bowling with his grandson Liam, snuggling and watching cartoons with his other grandchildren… napping with his dog Lucy, or hunting the snack aisle at the grocery store.” The family plans to conduct a search party at Hennessy’s Funeral Home, and would appreciate any information as to Jeff’s whereabouts. Read more

Danny Lloyd, aka Rooster, aka Winston, aka Pizza Pop

Danny Lloyd “was a generous man — giving away many of his possessions in the months before he died.  He even left his car to twelve different friends…” He was a ticket scalper and broker, or as he called it “a facilitator of supply/demand economics.” If you are attending the memorial service, “please ignore Danny’s scalper friends who might be offering to upgrade your seat for a small price.” Read more

Philip Dayton Thorpe: “I told you this would happen”

“Clod, as he was called even by those who knew his name, lived such a boring life that watching paint dry caused him to hyperventilate. His accomplishments will be published at a later date, if any are discovered…” Read more

They couldn’t help but adore Barbara Bryant Havens

“From New York to New Orleans, Pyongyang to Paris,” Barbara and her husband Tom “went everywhere and did everything with a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other.” At five-foot-ten “with hair the color of an oak leaf in fall and legs for days,” Barbara was a knock-out … literally. “On the night of a fundraiser Tom and Barbara were hosting for Columbus Ballet … she stood at the top of the stairs and was so devastatingly gorgeous that Tom literally couldn’t breathe!” After passing out, he was rushed to OSU hospital and “to this day he hears a faint ringing in his left ear.” Read more

Raise a cold (preferably free) beer to Terry Wayne Ward

It’s not often a regular guy from small town U.S.A. has the whole World Wide Web cheering for him. In fact, I would wager that until very recently most of us had never heard of DeMotte, Indiana. But thanks to one incredibly funny obituary and the power of the internet, Terry Ward has put his hometown on the map and inspired people around the world to raise a glass in his honor. Read more

Loyal Dallas Cowboys Fan

“Robert Clyde Drew, beloved husband, father, and Papa, drew his last breath January 25, 2018, mainly, we suspect, to prevent himself from having to watch the Patriots and Eagles in the Superbowl.” Read more


Less Than Average Life Span, Above Average Life

Price Mackenzie Davis “was killed when he rushed into a burning pet store to save a litter of purring, adorable kittens. Or maybe not. We all know how he liked to tell stories.” Read more

Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey

“Chris Connors died, at age 67, after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on Friday, December 9, 2016, that which cannot be printed here.” Read more

Drink a beer in honor of William Ziegler

“William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69. We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.” Read more

Howard Wayne Neal, 74, exited his rickety old body, having lived twice as long as he expected and way longer then he deserved

“Wayne never met a man he did not want to Indian leg wrestle or play mercy with, mainly because he was an ornery old bastard. He was a modest man who very seldom bragged about all of his treasures on Facebook. By the way, who taught him about Facebook?” Read more

Jim Groth’s funny and brave obituary

“Jim Groth made his last wildly inappropriate and probably sarcastic comment on July 28th. Jim was born and immediately dubbed ‘our favorite child’ to John and Joan Groth in March of 1963. Their constant love, support, caring far exceeded anything Jim deserved…” Read more

Mary ‘Pat’ Stocks known for her salty language and bland cooking

“She liked four letter words as much as she loved her rock garden and trust us she LOVED to weed that garden with us as her helpers, when child labour was legal or so we were told.” Read more

Lou Hacker, generous collector of junk

Christian Louis Hacker, better known as Lou, died April 9, 2015, “leaving behind a hell of a lot of stuff his wife and daughter have no idea what to do with…” Read more

Here’s daughter Tasha’s take on what it was like to write the obit:

I struggled for two days after I got home to my parents’ house to write the words I felt would do more than just announce to an audience of strangers that my father was dead, but would tell the story of who my dad was when he was alive. I struggled to write the words that would draw a reader in to the funny, quirky, generous person my dad was; the person you would recognize immediately if you knew my dad, or the person you wish you’d known after having read his obituary. I struggled because I wanted to write something that would do my dad’s life justice and also make him laugh, if he were to read it. Read more at Tasha’s blog

Is This the Greatest Newspaper Obituary Ever?

85-year-old Fargo, North Dakota, resident Douglas Legler wanted to go out with a laugh, and his wish was granted. While everyone else writes hagiographic biographies for their obituaries, listing every major accomplishment in detailed fashion, Legler insisted his eventual obit be as succinct as humanly possible. Read more

Douglas Legler obituary

Emily DeBrayda Phillips: Happy and dancing

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. Once again I didn’t get things my way! That’s been the story of my life all my life…” Read more

Aaron Purmort’s secret identity

Father, husband and life of the party, Aaron Joseph Purmort was many things to many people. And if his obituary is to be believed, he was also super hero… Read more

‘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. And what sort of person was Johanna Scarpitti? Read more

“Big Al” Brownley: Sweet but never sugarcoated

Raymond Alan Brownley embraced life, warts and all, and leaves behind a legacy of love, honesty — and powerful chili. Read more

Rick Bacon’s Unvarnished Life

Rick Bacon may be gone, and his “friends will tell you he’s in a better place.”

“The rest will say they can smell the Bacon burning.”

Read more

Virginia Fieldman’s “much-used heart”

Virginia Feldman’s “worn-out, much-used heart” gave out after a lifetime of sharing her home and hearth with a legion of friends, family, strays and others who passed through her rustic camp in Jonesboro, Maine. Read more

Lovable “con man” says goodbye

George Ferguson was a retired Protestant minister in Canada who is gaining more attention in death than he ever did in life. Not that he led an uninteresting life. Ferguson owned a tea room, sought to make a fortune by devising household gadgets, and, for a spell, ran an antiques auction during which a parrot roosted on his shoulder… Read more

Kerry King wasn’t kind to cancer

Kerry Lou Ketchum King may have been facing terminal cancer but the former teacher died in her sleep, leaving her loved ones to “assume late-night TV literally bored her to death.” Her obituary is full of funny gems just like that, hinting at the amazing person she was. Read more

Karen Short, aka the “Hot Dog Lady”

Karen Short left this world listening to “La Vida Loca,” and did her best to make her own life delightfully “loca.” Her adventures took her through several marriages, universities, and treks through much of the country. Thankfully, she always kept her wits about her and always had a good time, as her obituary shows. Why was she called “The Hot Dog Lady?” Click to find out

Chris Ferreira’s amazing afterlife

If all went according to plan, then musician, film lover and all-around awesome guy Chris Ferreira is very busy in the afterlife, as his obituary can attest. Read more

The memorable Mary “Pink” Mullaney

Mary “Pink” Mullaney was special, and her children realized her obituary needed to be special, too. Chock full of wisdom and smiles, her obituary is well worth a read. Take notes, too. Read more

Aurianna Pell: The Mayor of Atlanta

“Atlanta lost its 5-foot-10-inch big mouthed, perfect flat-top, gay mayor on Sunday, November 24, 2013.” Born in New Jersey, but “bred with Southern attitude,” Ria Pell “lived as a sweet charmer, a dirty fighter and a generous chef who wouldn’t let anybody leave her house hungry.” Read more

Rabble Rouser Bill Brown

William C. Brown “finally stopped bugging everybody on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.”

“Right to the end, at age 91, he would do things like pushing fist bumps at perfect strangers, playing boogie woogie and other foot-tapping piano right in front of innocent people, and racing to beat other oldsters to empty chairs…”

Read more

William “Freddie” McCullough: The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

“Men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him.”

“Freddie loved deep fried Southern food smothered in Cane Syrup, fishing at Santee Cooper Lake, Little Debbie Cakes, Two and a Half Men, beautiful women, Reeses Cups and Jim Beam. Not necessarily in that order. He hated vegetables and hypocrites. Not necessarily in that order…”

Read more

“Rose Davis has left the building!”

A clever euphemism about death brings her obituary to life. Read more


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