Mourning the loss of difficult relatives has its challenges. Mixed emotions about a departed family member can make more traditional ways of honoring their memory seem unfitting or insincere. Adding a touch of humor can help! Humor humanizes the pain of loss with a softer touch, especially if that loved one was naturally sarcastic or quirky. We hope this compilation of funny obituaries offers a few chuckles and ideas of how laughter can be a great way to honor even the wackiest relative. 

Man sitting on bench with book contemplating obituaries.

This collection from celebrates the quirks and funny habits that we remember about the people in our lives.  Sure, we might remember them with a mix of sadness and obvious annoyance. But if there is ultimately a sense of affection, it’s okay to talk about how weird they were!  The thing we love about these kinds of obits is that they reveal the depths of the relationship these folks had with themselves and every part of their lives. Spouses, kids and grandkids, pets, work, social topics, and lifelong passions are all fair game! Here are just a few gems from the list:

Emily Philips about herself

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away.  Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience.  Once again I didn’t get things my way!  That’s been the story of my life all my life.”

William Ziegler’s kids about his attitude towards colleagues

“Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971, thinking it best to keep an eye on him, government officials hired William as a fireman.  After twenty-five years, he suddenly realized that running away from burning buildings made more sense than running toward them.  He promptly retired.

Looking back, William stated that there was no better group of morons and mental patients than those he had the privilege of serving with (except Bob, he never liked you, Bob).”

Mary “Pat” Stocks’ son about her cooking philosophy

“She was a master cook in the kitchen.  She believed in overcooking everything until it chewed like rubber so you would never get sick because all germs would be nuked.  Freezing germs also worked, so by Friday our school sandwiches were hard and chewy, but totally germ free.”

James “Jim” Growth about his regrets

“His regrets were few but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from a convenience store in the summer of 2002, not training his faithful dog Rita to detect cancer, and that no video evidence exists of his prowess on the soccer field or in the bedroom.”

Walter Bruhl Jr. about his funeral arrangements 

“There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honour his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so that he would appear natural to visitors.”

Harry Stamps’ daughter about his brutal honesty

“As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians.

He was fond of saying a phrase he coined “I am not running for political office or trying to get married” when he was “speaking the truth.”

Bill Eves’ on his most important mission in life

“Perhaps most important to Bill was educating people on the dangers of holding in your farts.  Sadly, he was unable to attain his life-long goal of catching his beloved wife Judy “cutting the cheese” or “playing the bum trumpet”—which he likened to a mythical rarity like spotting Bigfoot or a unicorn.”

More Funny Habits and Stories Immortalized

Readers’ Digest is no stranger to collections of dry humor, and 20 of the Funniest Obituaries That Will Have You Dying Laughing is full of obits that memorialize the dead with jokes.

Mary Anne Alfriend Noland on her extreme aversion to the choice of candidates in the 2016 Presidential election
Antonia “Toni” Larroux’s family honors her sense of humor

“Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013” begins the New York Times obituary of Antonia “Toni” Larroux of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The obit goes on to share tidbits about possible family secrets, “Toni and her sisters were not, in fact, natural blondes” and Toni’s last words “tell them that check is in the mail.”

Karen “Lue” Short’s gentle, but hilarious details

“Lue spent her life as a nonconformist, filled with humor and adventure,” it goes on to say that she “died at home with her parrot by her side” while listening to Ricky Martin croon “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” She requested “Another One Bites the Dust” be played at her funeral.

William “Freddie” McCullough’s culinary preferences lampooned

Freddie’s obit begins: “The man. The myth. The legend. Men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him.” It goes on to say Freddie “hated vegetables and hypocrites,” and implies that his love of snack cakes, bourbon, and peanut butter cups would severely impact the companies that make them.

Need some darker humor to go with a dark humor kind of relative? Check out Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes about My Dead Dad” from this blog post.

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