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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

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