Tribute to Dead Mom Goes Viral: 'This Obit, My God'

Snarky memorial for 'gregarious grifter' appears on NC newspaper's site
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2021 7:15 AM CST
Obituary for 'Bawdy' Matriarch Goes Viral
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/izzzy71)

Renay Mandel Corren may be gone, but her legacy lives on—and has gone viral, thanks to what the Guardian calls an "unusual" yet "loving" obituary penned by her son. The 1,000-word memorial to the 84-year-old, who died in El Paso, Texas, appeared on the website of North Carolina's Fayetteville Observer this week. It first announces that a "bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it." It goes on to call Corren, whom loved ones called Rosie, a "talented and gregarious grifter" who "played cards like a shark, bowled and played cribbage like a pro, and laughed with the boys until the wee hours, long after the last pin dropped."

"Often frustrated by the stifling, conservative culture of the South, Renay turned her voracious mind to the home front, becoming a model stay at home parent, a supermom, really, just the perfect PTA lady, volunteer, amateur baker and-AHHAHAA HA! HA! HA! Just kidding, y'all!" reads the obit. It more accurately explains that Corren "didn't cook, she didn't clean, and she was lousy with money, too." As for what she excelled at: "dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines."

Although the obituary doesn't specify how Corren died, it notes all of the things that hadn't sent her to her grave over the years. "Covid couldn't kill Renay," it reads. "Neither could pneumonia twice, infections, blood clots, bad feet, breast cancer twice, two mastectomies, two recessions, multiple bankruptcies, marriage to a philandering Sergeant Major, divorce in the 70's, six kids, one cesarean, a few abortions from the Quietly Famous Abortionist of Spring Lake, NC or an affair with Larry King in the 60's." It also notes there will be "a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial" in May, "most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville."

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As for who came up with the obituary, credit was claimed in the write-up itself by her son, "the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time, Andy Corren, of—obviously—New York City." Response to the irreverent tribute soon followed, per the Observer. Journalist and author Sarah Weinman was among the first to react, with a simple "this obit, my god" tweet, which quickly started making the rounds. "Pool our gas money and carpool to memorial service at the lanes? Who's in?" another commenter remarked. After all the snark and hubbub, however, the last line sweetly wraps up the family's feelings: "Bye, Mommy. We loved you to bits." (Read more obituary stories.)

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