Most Australian newspapers have beefed up their obituary pages in
recent years, but how often do you read an obit as frank as this one
about Dorothy Gibson Cully that was published in the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina earlier this week? Among the points it made:

  • She “died peacefully, while in the loving care of her two favourite children, Barbara and David. All of her breath leaked out.”
  • Her father, Calvin Hooper Gibson, was “an inventor best known as
    the first person since the Middle Ages to calculate the arcane
    lead-to-gold formula. Unable to actually prove this complex theory
    scientifically, and frustrated by the cruel conspiracy of the so-called
    ‘scientific community’ working against his efforts, he ultimately stuck
    his head in a heated gas oven with a golden delicious apple propped in
    his mouth. Miraculously, the apple was saved for the evening dessert.
    Calvin was not.”

  • “At the time of her death, Dot was visiting her daughter, Carol
    in Memphis. Carol and her husband, Ron, away from home attending a
    ‘very important conference’ at a posh Florida resort, rushed home ten
    days later after learning of the death. Dot’s other children, dutifully
    at their mother’s side helping with the normal last minute arrangements
    – hospice notification, funeral parlour notice, revising the last will,
    etc. – happily picked up the considerable slack of the absent former
    heiress.”

  • “Contributions to the Wake County (NC) Hospice Services are
    welcomed. Opinions about the details of this obit are not, since Mom
    would have liked it this way.”

Peter Fray

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