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Old 04-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Best Obituary

An amazing obituary from the Denver Post of April 12. It begins with
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A Celebration of the life of Michael "Flathead" Blanchard will be held on April 14th, 3 pm 8160 Rosemary St, Commerce City. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone's courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors' orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.
Mr. Blanchard drafted the obit but was unable to finish it, and it can be read here Michael "Flathead" Blanchard Obituary: View Michael Blanchard's Obituary by Denver Post
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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The guy sounds like a kick in the pants! I am glad his family is following his wishes. You might as well go out the way you want to. Good for him and thanks for posting this.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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I bet he didn't spend much time worrying about what a good SWR was........
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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I can't believe that he named his son Chopper.

He was only 4 years older than me (gulp!).
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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MichaelB,

Thanks, I am an obituary junkie and I always enjoy reading a unique obituary.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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MichaelB,

Thanks, I am an obituary junkie and I always enjoy reading a unique obituary.
My pleasure. Have you seen these? Great Obituaries | Special Reports | The Browser
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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I can't believe that he named his son Chopper.
I read somewhere else in The Denver Post that Chopper was actually his cat.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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I always enjoy the obituary in the back of the Economist. Virtually everyone they choose seems like someone I would liked to have known.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Very funny obit. I love the last paragraph where it states "Baba Yaga can kiss his butt" and that the celebration of his life will contain adult material and young people shouldn't attend. That's a riot!
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Sounds like a real hoot!

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So many of his childhood friends that weren't killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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Here's some more info on "Flathead"
Mike Blanchard | Flathead | Greatest Obituary | Pickup Truck | The Daily Caller
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Our alumni magazine has extremely anal detailed instructions on printing obituaries in their "Last Call" column. I followed those to draft obituaries for me & spouse so that our daughter doesn't have to worry about Navy trivia like commands, ship names, hull numbers, or other details.

Now I can see that I might have to do a little more creative editing...

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He was only 4 years older than me (gulp!).
Well, as long as you're willing to give up booze, guns, cars, and younger women then you should be OK... either that or you should write up your own draft for F. to use in the local paper.

But, hey, you already have most of the photos scanned in for the memorial service PowerPoint projection and your video tombstone!
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:37 PM   #14
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@Nords. You never fail to amaze. I have thought of drafting my own obit, but not sure I have the guts or want to put the DW and DD through the anguish while I'm still around. i guess you could do it secretly?
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:39 PM   #15
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But, hey, you already have most of the photos scanned in for the memorial service PowerPoint projection and your video tombstone!
Aargh!!!

I was really surprised at how close the Grim Reaper seems after 3-4 days of scanning photos of dead relatives that all look like me. And childhood photos of my daughter look like mine, which look like my mothers, and on back into the clouds of time... (shiver)
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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@Nords. You never fail to amaze. I have thought of drafting my own obit, but not sure I have the guts or want to put the DW and DD through the anguish while I'm still around. i guess you could do it secretly?
What would be the fun of keeping it secret?!?

I drafted both spouse's and mine and then ran them by her for editing. Now they're in our "In Case We Wake Up Dead" file in my desk.

The problem with obituaries on the military side is that the grieving survivors don't really give a crap that I was on the USS JAMES MONROE (SSBN 622 BLUE) or other cryptic career details. But if any of that is misprinted in a military alumni column then the curmudgeons will get their collective harrumphs in an uproar. So I put all the technical details in the proper spelling & format to make it easy for whoever has to get it published in whatever place they want it published.

And then I added in a few details that will make people laugh. Some of those details might even be true. They'll be guessing until all of my submarine mission patrol reports are finally declassified.

On the logistics side, it helps start a discussion about burial/memorial services and other desires.

Our daughter won't see the humor of this until she's at least 40 years old, so we haven't shared it with her yet. Imagine her surprise if I drown at our favorite surf break while she's still in her 30s...

Geez, maybe I should draft a Facebook status update. ("No longer in a relationship"?) What about a 140-character version for my Twitter account?

On a more serious note, a couple months ago I had to write a bunch of e-mails & letters to the people who sent my father their Christmas cards-- explaining that he was now in a care facility with Alzheimer's. What a way to spend the holidays, even though I held off until January. How much easier it would've been for me if Dad had already scribbled down some notes or even drafted an announcement. Instead I was getting reacquainted with people who haven't seen or heard from me since I was in elementary school.

It occurs to me that I should draft a similar obituary for Dad to be published in the town newspapers where he's lived over the years. I don't know if I can reach out to his old friends for their feedback, though, so I'm probably going to have to just make this one up on my own. I'll be seeing a bunch of cousins at a wedding in a couple weeks so I guess I could ask them what they've done for their elders.

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Aargh!!!
I was really surprised at how close the Grim Reaper seems after 3-4 days of scanning photos of dead relatives that all look like me. And childhood photos of my daughter look like mine, which look like my mothers, and on back into the clouds of time... (shiver)
Well, the whole idea behind the booze, guns, cars, & babes is to keep the Grim Reaper at bay...

When my mother's mother died, my cousin went through her old photo albums (and a bunch of other people's albums) and scanned in hundreds of photos. We all got a DVD copy. Among those files were dozens of photos of my mother as she was growing up. I was in my high 40s when I got that DVD, and it was the first time I'd seen any pictures of my mother younger than her college graduation. I wish I'd seen them when my mother was alive so that we could've talked about them.

My brother and I have a similar box of photos from Dad's apartment. Most of them are framed but of course we have to guess at the events, locations, and people. I hadn't even seen my parents' wedding photo before... I don't know why that stuff wasn't on view when I was growing up. One day we're going to have to tackle a similar scanning project.

You're doing good work. People will appreciate it, even if they're not going to admit it to you!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:21 PM   #17
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You're doing good work. People will appreciate it, even if they're not going to admit it to you!
Thanks. I really feel like I need to do it, like it's a family duty or responsibility to my relatives and possibly to future generations that I don't even know yet. I have the photos, so it falls on me. Scanners have become very fast so I can't procrastinate any more.

I am also getting an in depth sense of where my family came from and "who I am", so to speak, especially as I go through the oldest photos and try to piece things together. I look at my ancestors over and over in different photos, and they seem more like real people to me now. These older photos are well annotated, much better than the more recent photos. So, it is probable that a long time ago, somebody did what I am trying to do.

When I finish, I'll put the entire collection on each of a few memory cards and mail them to my daughter, brothers, and so on. There will be several thousand photos.

I took today off - - didn't work on the photos today. I'm hoping to be completely done later this week.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:11 AM   #18
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i recently asked my 86 year old mother if she wanted me to write her obit before she goes. I thought we could do a real nice job and make sure the important things were said. Most obits are written by the funeral homes and seem so predictable. Who really cares that so and so was predeceased by their parents or they left behind a list of 15 relatives? Anyways she said no way. Pity.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #19
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I am also getting an in depth sense of where my family came from and "who I am", so to speak, especially as I go through the oldest photos and try to piece things together. I look at my ancestors over and over in different photos, and they seem more like real people to me now. These older photos are well annotated, much better than the more recent photos. So, it is probable that a long time ago, somebody did what I am trying to do.
That is so cool--there are tons of old photos in my grandfather's house like yours. I wonder if you have access to your family Bible? I know that in our family, it has been helpful in determining dates for deaths, births, weddings, etc. And I love just flipping through pages and finding random little treasures put between the pages by all the hands that it has passed through.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:39 AM   #20
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That is so cool--there are tons of old photos in my grandfather's house like yours. I wonder if you have access to your family Bible? I know that in our family, it has been helpful in determining dates for deaths, births, weddings, etc. And I love just flipping through pages and finding random little treasures put between the pages by all the hands that it has passed through.
Oh good idea - - that hadn't occurred to me! I don't know who got our family Bible when my grandparents died (they had over a dozen grandchildren, and my grandfather had 10 siblings living nearby). Maybe when I distribute the photos, whoever got it will be inspired to scan in the appropriate material from it and send all that around to the relatives, too.

I do have the birth, wedding, and death dates but who knows what else might be in there. Besides, it would be neat to see everything carefully hand written like that.
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