Special remembrances

As we wrote in October, many obituaries include a request for donations to charity in lieu of flowers.  We recently came across an “in lieu of flowers” request that struck us as special, as well as a great idea:

Jennifer Anne Church “enjoyed cruising, taking tropical vacations, cooking, retail therapy and touring wineries. She made it clear to her family that they have no formal or traditional service. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider sending a bottle of your favorite wine with a personal note attached. It is the family’s hope that over the years they can continue to toast her memory with family and friends while re-reading the kind words.” (Obituary published by Flora Funeral Service)

This inspired us to search to see if other obituaries had similar requests.  I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that among the more than 10 million newspaper obituaries in our database, there are many that include interesting requests.  Some requests left us wanting to know the rest of the story:

“In lieu of flowers, bring Ice Cream and/or marbles.” (Royce “Dink” Prentice’s obituary, published in The Herald Democrat) 

 “In lieu of flowers, tune-up your car and check the air pressure in your tires – he would have wanted that.” (B.H. Spratt’s obituary, published in Florida Times-Union)

Some requests included unique ways to remember the deceased:

“In lieu of flowers, we ask friends and family to stop by the King home in the summer to take hostas, daylilies and other plants from Eula’s garden to transplant into their own garden, so that they will always have something to remember her by.” (Eula N. King’s obituary, published in Akron Beacon Journal)

“In lieu of flowers and cards Barbara’s requested that you send the flowers and cards to a family member or friend and tell them ‘HOW SPECIAL THEY ARE’ and sign her name and tell each of them of her ‘Special Request’.” (Barbara L. Hult’s obituary, published in Dallas Morning News)

“In lieu of flowers, the family asks that if you smoke try quitting at least one more time.” (Opal Jean Wehmeyer Webster’s obituary, published in Express-News)

Some requests just made us smile:

“In lieu of flowers, if you knew “Bud”, he would want you to mix yourself a Manhattan and make a toast in celebration of his life.” (Galen E. “Bud” Strayer’s obituary, published in Public Opinion)

“In lieu of flowers, buy a lottery ticket. You might be lucky.” (Douglas Kulikowski’s obituary, published in Salt Lake Tribune)

“In lieu of flowers, bring joy and zest for life with stories of Rose Marie to share.”  (Rose Marie Stillions’s obituary, published in Gold Country Media Newspapers) 

And some requests included good advice:

“In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you dote upon your children; that you make their education your highest priority; that you tolerate someone difficult to tolerate; that you summon patience when there is no more to summon; that you turn to someone you love, right now, and tell them so.” (Melissa Cynthia Siegal’s obituary, published in The Washington Post)

“In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Julia, please plant your own flowers, feed the birds in your backyard, wave to your neighbor, make amends with someone who angered you, be a better parent, a better friend, a better son or daughter, and look forward to tomorrow while living for today.” (Julia M. Nutile’s obituary, published in Chicago Tribune)

“In lieu of flowers, tell your better half that you love them, hug your child, call a friend that you have not talked to in some time, send a card of support to someone in need, and take care of yourself.” (Linda Bray’s obituary, published in The Burlington Free Press) 


Legacy.com partners with 85 of the 100 largest newspapers in the United States and features obituaries and Guest Books for approximately 75 percent of people who die in the U.S.

About Katie

I joined Legacy.com in 2002 as a part-time content screener and now serve as Director of Operations, overseeing Legacy’s day-to-day operations (Guest Book screening, obituary processing, customer service, and client service). I grew up in California, the daughter of a psychologist and a minister. My parents instilled in me the importance of listening to and caring about others. One of the things I appreciate most about working at Legacy.com is that I am able to have a small part in easing people's pain during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In my life outside of Legacy, I enjoy baking treats (and bringing them to the office to share), playing the piano, reading, taking pictures, tending to our vegetable & herb gardens, trying out new restaurants and foods, spending time with my husband, Chuck (whom I met at Legacy) and our kids, Brett Jr. & Josie.
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