Thread Tools
Old 05-02-2011, 04:50 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
What Does This Listing In An Obit Mean?

I was reading this obituary I came across online, (from a newspaper) and it reads,

Quote:
Jane Smedley nee Hanson 72. Longtime Matteson resident formerly of Roseland. Mother of Patricia (Jason) White, Chris Smedley, Nicholas Smedley and Judy Forester...
I am reading it as June Smedley died. She was the mother of Patricia, Chris, Nicholas and Judy.

It looks like Judy got married and changed her name to Forester. OK fine. And Chris is either a male or an unmarried female.

My question is what is JASON and why is it in parentheses?
Old 05-02-2011, 04:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Face down in the dirt.
Posts: 2,559
Jason is her husband.
Old 05-02-2011, 04:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 27,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
I was reading this obituary I came across online, (from a newspaper) and it reads,



I am reading it as June Smedley died. She was the mother of Patricia, Chris, Nicholas and Judy.

It looks like Judy got married and changed her name to Forester. OK fine. And Chris is either a male or an unmarried female.

My question is what is JASON and why is it in parentheses?

It means that Patricia White is married to Jason. It's a way to acknowledge the relationship between the decedent and her children-in-law in the slightest possible space. Many newspapers charge by the line on obituaries.

ETA: Stop typing faster than me, SurlyChick!

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 05-02-2011 at 04:55 PM.
Old 05-02-2011, 04:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 28,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
Many newspapers charge by the line on obituaries.
Guess the Bin Ladens are screwed then.
Old 05-02-2011, 05:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Posts: 5,021
NM

Last edited by Winston Smith; 05-02-2011 at 05:04 PM.
Old 05-02-2011, 05:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 2,845
I think it's fairly traditional for the paper to list them that way, even when they don't charge for the obit. Although it might have become standard because of charges. I don't know. As for Judy, she's probably divorced. If she were a widow, it likely would have said 'Judy (the late Fred) Forester'. Gives everybody the connections without having to string it out.
Old 05-02-2011, 05:41 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Thanks, I don't recall ever reading an obit written like that before.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:25 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Face down in the dirt.
Posts: 2,559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
ETA: Stop typing faster than me, SurlyChick!
I'm just less verbose.
Old 05-03-2011, 09:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 13,356
Never seen that before (although I don't read obits much). I'd have read that as meaning that Patricia was born as a man, man.
Old 05-03-2011, 09:47 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,644
I've noticed that areas of the country write obits differently. I grew up in Chicago, and the obit posted by the OP was all I ever saw until I moved to Wisconsin, where things were written differently. Now in southern Illinois, people are called home to Jesus, have dogs and cats listed, along with hobbies, friends, and every job since they were 12. It's not good, nor bad, just common to the area in which I live. When I die, my obituary in the Chicago Tribune will be like the one in the original post, but mine down here will be folksier.
Old 05-03-2011, 10:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Thanks, I don't recall ever reading an obit written like that before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
Never seen that before (although I don't read obits much). I'd have read that as meaning that Patricia was born as a man, man.
Maybe I read too many obits for a 29 year old, but this is how I've always seen it done.
Old 05-03-2011, 11:20 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 4,443
In the older times, Patricia would have been listed as Mrs. Jason White. A style which makes tracking down details about female ancestors via obits very annoying!
Old 05-03-2011, 12:15 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Maybe I read too many obits for a 29 year old, but this is how I've always seen it done.
Let me guess, you grew up in Sunnydale?
Old 05-03-2011, 12:21 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,394
I've only noticed that change recently in these parts. Is it really that difficult to list the relationship of each person named? If they don't want the construct of "and his/her husband/wife/spouse/partner" following each child's name, they could just put "son-in-law Jason White" or whatever.
Old 05-03-2011, 03:57 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 2,845
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pai325 View Post
I've noticed that areas of the country write obits differently. I grew up in Chicago, and the obit posted by the OP was all I ever saw until I moved to Wisconsin, where things were written differently. Now in southern Illinois, people are called home to Jesus, have dogs and cats listed, along with hobbies, friends, and every job since they were 12. It's not good, nor bad, just common to the area in which I live. When I die, my obituary in the Chicago Tribune will be like the one in the original post, but mine down here will be folksier.
It may be more regional that I realized. It's pretty much all I've seen, but then I've lived here nearly my whole life. I do wish they'd list grandchildren with the children, rather than in a group after.
The ones with all the jobs and hobbies are a lot more fun to read, that's for sure.
Old 05-03-2011, 04:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Let me guess, you grew up in Sunnydale?
The school paper was kind of depressing, but I did usually go straight to the obits.
Old 05-03-2011, 05:18 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 22,361
Those little bulletin-style obituaries are actually written by the funeral homes and placed in the paper like a classified ad. Over the years they've come up with their own set of code words.

Fortified with the sacrements of Holy Mother Church - Catholic
Called to Jesus - fundamentalist Protestant
Asleep in Jesus - non-specific Protestant
Entered into eternal rest - Jewish, or family didn't want to mentin religion
Died peacefully - it was expected
Died suddenly - it wasn't expected

Some families want the whole treatment, including listing grandkids, pets, all the clubs the deceased belong to, etc. Occasionally the family actually does write the obituary notice themselves, and those are the more folksy ones you see. But most of the time they just give the funeral director basic information.
Old 05-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,644
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
In the older times, Patricia would have been listed as Mrs. Jason White. A style which makes tracking down details about female ancestors via obits very annoying!
I have a copy of my husband's grandmother's obituary from a south side Chicago paper in 1941. The daughters are listed as Mrs. Christian Name - Last Name, although none were divorced. My great grandfather's obituary in the Chicago Tribune in 1934 lists his daughter as Christian Name - Last Name (not even with a Mrs.) but his sister as Mrs. Husband's Name - Last Name. Spouses of the children aren't listed at all.
Old 05-03-2011, 07:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the cusp, also in SF
Posts: 5,737
Typically the mortuary will offer to post the funeral notice for the bereaved family, and pass through the charge to them (mortuaries get a 15% discount from the paper and charge the family at full rate, in my market). Or the family can take care of it for themselves. If the mortuary does it, they will include whatever facts and people the family wants to include, but the style will tend to be more uniform. If the family does it, that's when you might get some rather unusual stylistic variations.

Maybe some newspapers are more restrictive than others. We pretty much allow anything that isn't defamatory, libelous or in "bad taste" (whatever that is; it's not usually a problem).


Roddy
Old 05-03-2011, 09:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The Land of Grundo
Posts: 1,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisacurl View Post
I've only noticed that change recently in these parts. Is it really that difficult to list the relationship of each person named? If they don't want the construct of "and his/her husband/wife/spouse/partner" following each child's name, they could just put "son-in-law Jason White" or whatever.
That's what we did when we wrote my mother's obituary. We even put in the hometowns of the surviving family members.

It had to be done right - my mother was a stickler for clear, concise writing with proper grammar and spelling, as are the obituary writers. I've always disliked the parenthetical significant others format.
Old 05-03-2011, 10:20 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,305
Many years ago I used to set type for a printer in California. One of our clients was a local weekly rag. We would set the type, compose the paper and print it for them. They got lazier and lazier as time went on and got to where they would just send us a form and expect us to write the obituary for them. One day I got annoyed and wrote a really good one containing, among other things:

"Mrs. Velda Nurd kicked the bucket last Tuesday much to the immense relief of her unloving husband George and her three ungrateful children."

My boss let me send it to them on proof, and when they called to complain, he said "That's our way of telling you we aren't your writers!"
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:44 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: tool resale guys boxers ipad 2 crashing vixs puretvu 48b0 sarasponda translation osb for subfloor ky massaging oils ohio to oregon akira manga ending laden name meaning prn employment definition food lion coinstar deer tibia bone julie andrews playboy snow flamethrower ibuprofen sweating fe wheel weights o black betty finger lifting kimchi pot 8 mph wind mary frann sweater paper veneer just lunch seattle minecraft infiniminer define ballin fetish psychology nedna simpsons snorkel extension huns atheism macys sucks pleasure peeing albanian curses buy p51 why do i pee more on my period what does it mean when your cat rubs against your legs sword art online bad how to find a business that no longer exists this posting is being blocked test christmas lights with multimeter boiling water burn scar is venom stronger than carnage best tubing for wind chimes how to clean the inside of a stainless steel microwave oven how to hang a mirror with d rings creative answers to how are you poppa smurf can i lick your what does jenny die of how to get used to glasses akc dog names examples carbonaro effect is fake john belushi animal house guitar capitalize terms of endearment movie quote strong like bull how much do garmin updates cost strength of victory tiebreaker how many rounds between tracers why does pubic hair grow back fast cat needs to gain weight bottom round sous vide best spider solitaire score songs about car crashes how many 20 bills in a bundle my whole house smells like onions kirkland jeans who makes san giorgio baked macaroni and cheese jingle bells shotgun shells lyrics