Do youthful photos accompanying older folks' obituaries gripe you?

Our local newspaper sometimes prints photos with obituaries. Often in the case of elderly folks these photos are obviously of a different time … sometimes high school senior portraits, most recently in the case of a gentleman who was in his 90’s when he passed.

I never thought too much about it until I heard someone griping about it … "That’s not how she looked ! " or “The family should have run a more realistic picture in the paper!”.

I confess, I don’t get the vitriol… why does it matter?

What do you think? Does it bother you?

I don’t see what is wrong with at all. Would it be better if they had a picture of their corpse or something?

Doesn’t bother me; in fact, I think it’s kind of neat. Why not show them in their prime?

Or maybe they just never had many pictures taken of themselves, and that’s the best one available. I saw one a few weeks ago of a woman who was wearing one of those big poofy papery “hairnet” things like lunch ladies wear. Or people who work in food manufacturing facilities. :confused:

Old people read the obits a lot more than young people. I think the youthful photos are for their benefit. They often lose track of their friends and this is a way of identifying that that is indeed the Mary Smith they knew back in the 50s.

I’ve seen a new trend recently in our local paper. A lot of the folks in the obituaries have two pictures now, a recent picture and an older picture of their younger selfs. The paper must have just started offering this option because I have only noticed it recently, but then again I avoid reading the obits out of phobia and very rarely turn to that page, so maybe it has been going on for some time and I just never noticed it.

When a photo clearly appears dated, I kinda wonder, “What’s the matter? Didn’t they have a pic taken over the past decade?” But not a big concern.

I see more and more photos in the American obits. Remarkable was the elderly gentlemen whose biography had a photos of him doing a handstand while in university. I liked it.

Seem the newspapers are letting families say more in the obits. Good. We need to improve obit quality.

I think one reason for this is because our local newpaper (for example) is now charging for obits. One or two line death notices are free, but the obituaries now have to be paid for. This is usually done through the funeral home, which of course passes the cost on. We found this out when my father-in-law passed away in 2003. It was nice to be able to get all the information we wanted in the obit, but…let’s just say it added on to the list of reasons I don’t want a funeral.

I like to see a picture from before they suffer severe decline, and look like a sick bloodhound. I don’t see where some person not directly immediate family, should complain about it. Nothing is stopping them from posting an up to date picture they took of the person, saying dearly departed friend.

But she DID look like that at one point in her life! It seems perfectly reasonable to me when you’re celebrating the person’s entire life to include a flashback to their younger days. In fact, in a lot of cases I think it’s more interesting to see what the person was like in their youth. I’m sure it can be hard for younger folks to believe that Grandma used to be quite a hottie in her younger days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not part of who she really was.

My wife and I were discussing this just the other day. I told her that when I die, I want her to use one of my baby pictures in my obituary!

(I always read the obis that have the photo of a young person. Does that make me evil?)

I used to be a bit puzzled by that then one day it occurred to me that maybe the photo chosen was representative of the time in the person’s life that most people they knew would remember them by.

What irritates me more, though it really shouldn’t, is when the obit was clearly written by a family member, and not a professional. You can tell the funeral director about the person’s life and interests, and they will write something that makes SENSE, dammit. And it will have proper grammar(most of the time) as an added bonus. I kid you not; once I read an obit that had an “LOL!” in it. :rolleyes:

One of the more unusual things I saw in the obit column: a (very very short) one for someone who died eight years ago today.

Of course, the person who died was 16 at the time, so I can understand why the family did it, but I wonder how long they’re planning to keep it up?

This makes complete sense to me. That’s why I shake my head over ppl who comment negatively on it.

shoeless, how cute! DO IT!

Ms Pumkin Aww. I kinda like the kitchy bent of family-written obits. Calling the departed by pet names and naming their favorite foods. Call me a softie. :wink:

Funeral homes write the obits? That is news to me, most of the obits i read sound like they were written by family or even the deceased before they died. When my friends two sons died she wrote them up, like hell she was gonna let the funeral director write them up. The FD tried to push her around a little too much, dictating how she should lay her sons to rest.

I like when the 0bits use vintage photos too, or any other photo besides the standard church directory photo you see so often for old people.

I am obsessed with reading the obits, I often get teary eyed reading some of them. :frowning:

After our mother’s death, the funeral director provided an “outline” obit. We made numerous changes that were accepted without comment. (After all, most obits are paid ads–arranged by the funeral home.) At the time, we were not bubbling over with creative energy. If you want to write your own obit, start now!

We used a photo from her heyday in the forties. Boy, they knew how to do Glamour Shots back then. Not tarted up–just sleekly elegant, with dramatic lighting.

And I like the dashing young men, with their Army Air Force caps showing the 20 Mission Crush. (Rarer than they used to be.)

When I was a newspaper editor, there was much about obituaries that irritated the crap out of me. This was one of them. The worst ones were widows who’d bring in 50-year-old military boot camp portraits of their late husbands. Our little paper did all of the 50-year anniversary photos, 5-generation photos, all that feel-good crapola that fills up what was once called the Society Page. And I’d ask these widows, “Clara, why don’t you use that 50-year anniversary photo of Ray? That was a really great portrait, it’s the way everyone remembers him. Nobody’s gonna’ recognize the (soldier, sailor, marine) in this picture.” And invariably, the answer would be, “This is how I remember him, and that’s what counts.” I suspect the truth is, they really wanted to remind people of how handsome the old fart had been way back when. It’s shallow, selfish, and uninformative as hell. But nowadays, most people don’t see even their local newspaper as a conveyor of information, but as a purveyor of image. They just want their shot at image.

High-school year book pictures wouldn’t be my first choice, but they don’t confuse me as much as the obits I’ve seen that seem to have baby pictures. :confused:
(Yeah, I’m pretty sure they didn’t belong to the ‘birth notices’ on the opposite page)

All obit photos should be taken after death.

It’s an obituary for chrissakes. :dubious: