The best obituary ever

Shared by tens of thousands of people via social media, and viewed more than half a million times in its first few days online, Harry Stamps’ obituary is one for the ages. Many readers have declared it the best obituary ever.

From its opening line, it instantly draws readers in: “Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.” Written by his daughter, Amanda Lewis, the obituary shares Harry’s greatest loves (BLTs on Bunny Bread) as well as his many dislikes (sorry, Martha Stewart!).

Harry is relatable and loveable. He’s not a man who focused on a laundry list of impressive academic or career accomplishments. He’s a guy who ate Vienna sausages on Saltines and considered it a splurge to get a campsite with a creek view. We all know someone like Harry, or perhaps we are a “Harry” ourselves.

The honesty and humor found in Harry Stamps’ obituary is rare. And I think that’s a big part of why this story connects with so many people. Simply put, people love Harry Stamps’ obituary. And they have shared that love in his obituary Guest Book. This Guest Book message from one reader sums up how many feel:

“Rest in peace, Harry. I never met you, but you sound like such a fun man! This was the best obituary I have ever read, and after reading it, I feel as though I knew this man my whole life of 30 years. Thank you for sharing your dad with the world.”

For her efforts in chronicling her father’s life, ABC News declared Amanda Lewis their “Person of the Week” last week. And we agree. Well done, Amanda! We’re sure your dad would be proud of you.

About Katie

I joined 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 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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