Friday, May 2, 2008

Obituary Written in the 1st Person Perspective

I have been volunteering for the Obituary Daily Times since this past March and I enter index information for obituaries in my hometown newspaper, The Times-Herald Record. So far, there are over 13 million obituaries indexed and it has been such a valuable resource to me that I decided to volunteer and "give back."

This morning, while I was entering data, I came across my first instance of an obituary written from the 1st person perspective (see below). Has anyone encountered this before or is it a more modern invention? Is the practice particular to a certain region of the United States or a certain faith or culture?

Conn, Hazeline Patterson Potts
Milton, NY

My name is Hazeline Patterson Potts Conn. I was born to Hazeline and Van Burn Potts. My journey began in Huntersville, North Carolina, May 12, 1913. There, I grew up on our family farm with my 2 sisters, Margaret and Anne.

In 1934, I graduated from Appalachian State Teachers College. From there I moved to New York City to work as a Governess. In 1940, I married the love of my life, Theodore Jack Conn at my home Church Historic Hopewell Presbyterian. We began our life together in Milton, New York, where we founded T. Jack Conn Cold Storage on Route 9W in Milton, which is now known as Conn Freezer Warehouses.

Here we lived, worked and raised our family of three children. Throughout our 67 years of marriage, we were blessed with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: our son, Theodore Van Conn and his wife, Anne of Milton; our daughter, Hazeline Conn Moss and her husband, Ronald Moss of Cherryville, NC; our daughter, Margaret Conn Horton and her husband, Edward of Milton. We knew the joy of 7 grandchildren: Leonard Jack Conn and his wife, Kim of Milton; Susan Horton-Drivas and her husband, Manny of Milton; Shawn Conn Fred and her husband, Chris of Highland Mills; Michele Horton-Corrado and her husband, John of Marlboro; Jack Moss and his wife, Tonya of Clemmons, NC; and Ashley Conn Horton of Milton.

I was predeceased by my husband, Jack, in September of 2007, my sister, Margaret Parks and my grandson, David Conn Moss of Cherryville, NC in 1987. I am survived by my 96 year old sister, Anne Potts McElroy of Huntersville, NC. I was happy to know the joys of eight great-grandchildren: Max, Lillie and Jack Drivas; Makenzie and Harrison Conn; and Dylan, Kylie and Carson Fred. I am very thankful for my good friends and dedicated health care providers, Marie, and Andrea.

I lived a successful life in the hamlet of Milton, Town of Marlborough as the oldest living member of the United Methodist Church of Milton and Marlboro. I enjoyed the role of a 4-H Leader and time spent with my friends of the Methodist Woman's Quilting Bee.

In my retirement years, I loved to sew and vacation at my family home in North Carolina. My name is Hazeline Patterson Potts Conn, and after 94 years of life, my journey ended on Friday, April 25, 2008 at my home in Milton.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, at The DiDonato Funeral Home, 1290 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY.

Funeral Services will be held at 12 noon at the United Methodist Church of Milton and Marlboro. Burial service will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Middlehope.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Methodist Church of Milton and Marlboro.

Arrangements are entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato and Lawrence M. Cavazza of The DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc.; 845-236-4300.

Published in the Times Herald-Record on 4/28/2008.


Lori Thornton said...

I've heard of persons writing their own obituaries, but I've never encountered one that I recall. I've stumbled across a few unusual ones over the years, and this one certainly fits the bill for that! I keep a folder of "interesting obits" on my computer, and I'll add this one to that!

JamaGenie said...

I have copies of several versions of what could only be meant to be obituaries in my grandmother's hand, but none are in the first person. I suspect Hazel Potts Conn didn't write this as an obit per se, but only as the highlights of her life toward the end of her life, and because it had all the facts necessary for an obit, was made into one by a family member.

The CONN name got my attention, btw, because a ggm was one. But her people weren't from NC or NYC. Drats! Thought I might've come across a long-lost cousin!

Anonymous said...

I have been seriously considering a first person obit. Only Presidents and/or notables are asked: "How would you like to be remembered?" Well, that ? could also be asked of common folk