When we think of obituaries, humor doesn’t usually come to mind. In fact, they’re usually quite the opposite. They can be heartbreaking, somber, or rather stiff (no pun intended).
And some of them are just plain boring. There; I said it. Sorry, not sorry.
I get it, though; it can be really tough to encapsulate a person’s entire life & worth into a few sentences, especially if the loss is raw.
So you expect the usual blurb: the dates of birth and death. Names of close family. Perhaps a few words about the deceased’s line of work, charitable efforts, etc. Some details about the upcoming services are included.
But how do you sum up a life? Rather, how would you want YOUR life summarized by your kids??
(If my teen son were left to the task, his focus would be, “She died doing what she loved: reminding me to take the garbage out. Ugh!” My youngest daughter: “She cuddled well, but veggies at dinner? SO GROSS.”)
Once in awhile there are those rare obituary gems that stand out from the crowd- the obituaries that give you a clear sense of who the person really was, how deeply they were loved, and even manage to make you chuckle.
The family of Katy Lynn McDonald penned an obituary that included heartwarming, hilariously charming details about her life, and every mom could only hope for a send-off this awesome.
According to the obituary that was published on The Chattanoogan, Katy Lynn McDonald “escaped this mortal realm” on December 14, 2019. While her picture clearly demonstrates that she was likely a timeless beauty, her exact age was unknown:
She was 80, we think.
Understood: age can be a sensitive topic. My mother-in-law has declared that she is “39”- for the past 17 years. You can imagine the confusion this generates for my younger kids on her birthday each year, since their dad is 45…
Katy’s family’s pretty sure that she deliberately scheduled her demise for convenience’s sake:
The family believes she did it on purpose to avoid having to cast another vote in the American elections.
(Well played, Katy.)
McDonald’s obituary raves about her kindness, her generosity, her charm, and her undying love for those who were her friends.
But it wasn’t just her friends who were on the receiving end of her devotion:
She never met a stranger but she brought a few home (David W.,you were our favorite).
Shoutout to David W., who clearly hit the jackpot when being welcomed into the loving -and witty- ranks of the McDonald family.
Katy was clearly not just kind, but fun- described as “part saint, part sinner”:
If you were fortunate to have met her, you’d have liked her immediately…
Though I didn’t have the fortune of meeting Katy Lynn McDonald, I LOVE her already!
Katy also knew that the way to someone’s heart was through their stomach: this woman could cook, Southern-style. In fact, her delicious recipes were used to feed thousands of patients through her work as a dietary professional at Red Bank Hospital.
And her cornbread? Out.Of.This.World.
the recipe is untouchable… seriously, we can’t find it. If anyone has a copy, please let the family know.
Love it. Seriously. Cornbread so good that it’s worth mentioning in an obituary is damn good cornbread!
And to my kids: no worries, your mom’s cornbread recipe will always be intact. It’s right on the back of the Jiffy corn muffin box. You’re welcome.
Katy Lynn McDonald wasn’t just sitting back hosting strangers & baking cornbread, though. In her “spare” time, she managed to lead many of her kids’ activities: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, PTA, and baseball teams.
As if she wasn’t doing enough for her kids:
(she managed the concessions and we got free candy)
Mom hooking her kids up with free candy?? How cool was Katy??
But it’s not chairing your kids’ activities that automatically makes one a “good” mom. As her obituary points out, it was ALL of the things, big and small, that Katy did for them, day in and day out.
The little, often over-looked tasks, words, gestures, and efforts mean more to our kids that we may ever know:
She also did a whole lot of other things for us when we were kids, but we were too busy to make notes (sorry Mom).
Katy was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Alan McDonald, and by several beloved pets, including:
Jack her darling mutt who once lost his tail in an unfortunate accident, whereupon Mom saved the tail in the freezer “…just in case…” (go figure).
(Question: Does Katy’s will stipulate who gets the tail?)
McDonald didn’t just leave behind numerous loved ones -children and grandchildren who adored her- but she also left behind a lot of… baggage. LITERALLY.
She left behind a lot of old stuff that her kids don’t know what to do with.
Anyone interested in some nick nacks, a bell, some art books, gardening tools, a couch, or old jewelry.
(Notice that Jack’s frozen tail isn’t mentioned. That’s a family heirloom, folks- sorry!)
The details of Katy’s funeral services are of course mentioned, with guests invited to share stories and a toast to a life well lived.
But skip the flowers. Instead of sending flower or monetary donations in Katy’s honor, the family asks that you:
please write your congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Savings Time. We think Mom would like it if we were all on the Lord’s Time.
A perfect send-off if you ask me!
We don’t usually dwell on obituaries, because they are typically morose and solemn. But Katy’s is a refreshing, priceless departure from the norm- not only do you get a clear sense of who she was, but you can tell you’d LOVE HER.
And it’s obvious her kids did too. Every mom should hope to infuse their kids’ lives with light, love and humor like Katy!