Introduction: Duncan Kuehn is a professional genealogist with over eight years of client experience. She has worked on several well-known projects, such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” and researching President Barack Obama’s ancestry. In this blog post, Duncan shares some of the funny and at times insightful comments from the obituary of Mary “Pink” Mullaney about a life well-lived.
Sometimes you read an obituary and mourn that you didn’t get a chance to know the person who died. Such is the case with Mary “Pink” Mullaney. Her well-written obituary helps the reader come to know her – and she sounds like a fantastic person to know!
The quirky opening line of her obituary sets the stage: “If you’re about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop.” You immediately know that this isn’t going to be an ordinary obituary, which is good because Pink Mullaney was no ordinary person.
Never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, childproof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments.
The obituary for Mrs. Mullaney ran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her six children must miss her terribly. Surely there was rarely a dull moment growing up with her as a mother!
Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats.
Pink lived for 85 years. She outlived her husband, Dr. Gerald L. Mullaney, and six of her nine siblings.
Keep the car keys under the front seat so they don’t get lost. Make the car dance by lightly tapping the brakes to the beat of songs on the radio. Offer rides to people carrying a big load or caught in the rain or summer heat. Believe the hitchhiker you pick up who says he is a landscaper and his name is “Peat Moss.”
She had 17 grandchildren at the time of her death. If other descendants have been born since, they truly missed out on knowing such a lovely person.
Let a dog (or two or three) share your bed. Say the rosary while you walk them. Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass. Go to a nursing home and kiss everyone.
Pink trusted everyone in ways that many of us would find shocking in today’s society. However, her old-fashioned ways seemed to have served her well in life, and she must have been well-loved by all who knew her.
Give to every charity that asks. Choose to believe the best about what they do with your money, no matter what your children say they discovered online. Allow the homeless to keep warm in your car while you are at Mass.
Take magazines you’ve already read to your doctor’s office for others to enjoy. Do not tear off the mailing label, “Because if someone wants to contact me, that would be nice.”
Friends (and strangers she would love to have met) can visit with Pink’s family at the Feerick Funeral Home on Thursday.
When Pink died, her family asked that donations in her honor be made to the Dominican High School or Saint Monica Parish, or “any charity that seeks to spread the Good News of Pink’s friend, Jesus.”
Truly the world lost a bright light on 1 September 2013, when Pink passed away. But how good it was that a bit of her personality was captured by her family and shared in this funny and thought-provoking obituary. At first, we laugh at some of Pink’s odd behaviors and insights. And then we realize just how right she was. Thank you, Pink.
Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present. Find out more at: https://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/
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