Obituaries on the radio

  1. Listen MPR News with Tom Weber: Obituaries

    October 24, 2016

I’m filling in for Tom Weber at 11 a.m. today on MPR News (91.1 in the Twin Cities). Here are a couple of links I’ll be referring to during the broadcast on obituaries.

This is the post I wrote about Stuart Schumacher and his wife, Melissa, who started an effort to help people write obituaries for children. Their son, Evan, died at age 4. Stuart wrote the obituary. He’ll be a guest in the studio.

I’ll also be talking to Eleni Pinnow, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Superior. Her sister, Aletha, took her own life last February and it fell to Eleni to tell her story in an obituary that captured the nation’s attention.

When she was writing it, she didn’t think it would go viral. She just wanted to do what a lot of obituaries don’t do: tell the truth.

Also joining me today will be Joan Giangrasse Kates, a freelance reporter who writes obituaries for the Chicago Tribune. Like this one.

I hope you’ll be able to join us with your questions/comments. A podcast will be available later today if you’re not and I’ll also post the audio here.

  • MrE85

    Not to be morbid, but have you drafted your own obit? I’ve been thinking about what mine should say. Spending time in a cancer clinic will do that.

    • We’ll talk about this but I don’t think people should write their own obits. We who we are remembered as.

      • MrE85

        In that case, I may be in trouble. I’ll be listening at 11.

    • Jack

      I once had a boss who asked us to write out own obits. I gently let him know that if I hadn’t had great medical care some years before, we wouldn’t have been having the conversation. That put an end to that feel good project.

      Don’t have any idea what my family would write. Hoping for “she loved to volunteer and talk with people”. Better than the obits of my youth that gave a listing of employers and enough information to commit identity theft.

  • crystals

    If it isn’t terribly awkward, please give Mr. Schumacher a hug from a listener who appreciates and admires what he’s done in the midst of a terrible loss. (And if it is too awkward, a handshake will do.)

  • Amanda Schumacher Amundson

    I missed the program this morning. Will a podcast be available? Thank you