The Reports of Her Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Yesterday, I posted a quiz asking what my wife Jeannette’s grandma has in common with Mark Twain.

The answer is that she, like Twain, had her obituary published while she was still alive.

Jeannette’s grandma is named Anne Hathaway. At age 92, she is still going strong. Just a few years ago, she traveled from Orono, Maine to Slovenia for the wedding of one of the University of Maine’s star hockey players. That a 92-year-old woman who is unrelated to the bride or groom (she and the groom are friends) gets herself invited to this young jock’s wedding tells you a lot about her. The fact that she actually made the trip tells you even more!

So Anne was quite surprised when a friend that she had seen just the day before called her to ask if she was still alive. It turns out that there are two Anne Hathaways in Orono who have pre-arranged for their funerals at the same funeral home. The other Anne Hathaway died, and they pulled the wrong file by accident.

Here’s what Anne told the newspaper reporter from the Bangor Daily News:

I just laughed,” Hathaway said. “I went to the pearly gates and opened the door and they didn’t have any strawberry shortcake and they didn’t like the way my hair looked.”

She joked that she was looking better after having her hair styled Friday.

Meanwhile, Twain’s handwritten response to his wrongful obituary can be found at Twainquotes.com.

Congratulations to PJM, the 23rd blog reader to enter a guess and the first to get the right answer.


Justin

That was a "quite easy" quiz? :)

Maybe as the person asking the question...

eric in Vancouver

interesting, good item

if I recall correctly, Happy Chandler's* bio stated when his wife was sick he arranged to have her obit posted early while she was still alive, enabling her to enjoy the kind words about her.

* ex Commissioner of MLB, Governor of Kentucky or Ohio or a state nearby

James

What's spooky is that I first heard this story from my father-in-law, who sells caskets to that very funeral home. We were all surprised to hear the celebrity Freakonomics connection. It's a small world after all.

Otto

Noah -

They were both married to Anne Hathaway...

Dilip Kumar Banerjee

Let us ask Anne Hathaway if it is alright to modify the obit or re-draft it

Akane

O.o irony o.O

Charles

Comparing it to the last quiz it was quite easy. It took two posts, a few days, and over a hundred replies to get. This one only needed 23. He can't simply ask what is 2+2.

Noah

Here's an idea for the next quiz: "What does Levitt's wife's grandfather have in common with William Shakespeare?"

This one actually IS pretty easy if you remember high school lit...

Caleb Powers

Eric, you are correct that Happy Chandler was governor of Kentucky for two non-successive terms, because of constitutional restrictions. His grandson, Ben Chandler, is our Congressman, from the district centered in Lexington, Kentucky.

I had the honor of attending Happy Chandler's 89th birthday party, at the Red Mile racetrack in Lexington, where he told the assembled multitude all the old stories, including the one you quoted. Whether you loved or hated him, he was a fascinating political character, something we don't have many of anymore.

Justin

That was a "quite easy" quiz? :)

Maybe as the person asking the question...

eric in Vancouver

interesting, good item

if I recall correctly, Happy Chandler's* bio stated when his wife was sick he arranged to have her obit posted early while she was still alive, enabling her to enjoy the kind words about her.

* ex Commissioner of MLB, Governor of Kentucky or Ohio or a state nearby

James

What's spooky is that I first heard this story from my father-in-law, who sells caskets to that very funeral home. We were all surprised to hear the celebrity Freakonomics connection. It's a small world after all.

Otto

Noah -

They were both married to Anne Hathaway...

Dilip Kumar Banerjee

Let us ask Anne Hathaway if it is alright to modify the obit or re-draft it

Akane

O.o irony o.O

Charles

Comparing it to the last quiz it was quite easy. It took two posts, a few days, and over a hundred replies to get. This one only needed 23. He can't simply ask what is 2+2.

Noah

Here's an idea for the next quiz: "What does Levitt's wife's grandfather have in common with William Shakespeare?"

This one actually IS pretty easy if you remember high school lit...

Caleb Powers

Eric, you are correct that Happy Chandler was governor of Kentucky for two non-successive terms, because of constitutional restrictions. His grandson, Ben Chandler, is our Congressman, from the district centered in Lexington, Kentucky.

I had the honor of attending Happy Chandler's 89th birthday party, at the Red Mile racetrack in Lexington, where he told the assembled multitude all the old stories, including the one you quoted. Whether you loved or hated him, he was a fascinating political character, something we don't have many of anymore.