The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Letters to the Editor

February 13, 2013

Good obits should reflect one's life

Cary Brunswick, a journalist, editor and writer, can’t decide how to write an obituary, really? Truly a lead-in line, designed to plant seeds of secularism into another avenue, provoking doubt on the individual’s worth or capability of composing an obituary.

It is a true fact that death is not considered news any longer by the media, but an additional revenue source for them and considered a paid advertisement. However, I will say that The Daily Star’s obituary editor is an excellent proofreader. That is not the case for all newspapers. 

Long eloquent obituaries, filled with numerous adjectives and detailed descriptions of the deceased, was the newspaper’s practice from the pre-Depression days through the 1970s. These obituaries are still considered noteworthy by family members and genealogists, providing an insight into the time period.

It was also typical to run a second obituary after the funeral service, listing pallbearers, clergy and other notable family and local attendees.

Our Lord Savior, our God, and the personal importance that the deceased and family held for a higher deity, was always incorporated into these newsworthy obituaries. The aspects of the person’s life were not about human greatness, but, rather, was considered a resume with flair.

So, might I suggest a resume of life? Let’s satisfy the facts of individual secularism with data: birth, education, marriage, children, etc. ... and such details are kept on file. Also put in a separate file the mementoes/snippets that wove the very fabric that made you who you became. Each one will be different; for some it will be family, for others goodwill or career. 

I have faith the readers of The Daily Star can compose newsworthy obituaries, each one unique and worth saving.

Joan Terry


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