Son writes hilarious and touching obituary for his mother: ‘She left me nothing but these lousy memories’

‘May her memory be a blessing, though it sounds like it already is,’ one person writes

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Friday 17 December 2021 12:07
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People have joined in mourning an 84-year-old woman after her son humourously reflected on her life, and described her as a “bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family,” in her obituary.

According to her obituary, Renay Mandel Corren, from El Paso, Texas, died on Saturday, with her son paying tribute to her with a eulogy published in The Fayetteville Observer on Wednesday.

However, unlike most obituaries, the tribute written by Corren’s son Andy in memory of his mother, known as Rosie, placed an emphasis on humour and exasperation rather than sadness as he recounted her larger-than-life personality.

The lengthy obituary began with Andy revealing that the “bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it,” with the 84-year-old’s son noting that her passing was not good news for her “many surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom she even knew and, in her own way, loved”.

Andy then went on to claim that there will be “much mourning in the many glamourous locales she went bankrupt in,” such as her hometown of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where Corren “first fell in love with ham, and atheism,” and Fayetteville and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, where “Renay’s dreams, credit rating and marriage are all buried”.

In the obituary, Andy also explained that he was treating the death of his mother with “the same respect and reverence she had for, well, nothing,” as he claimed that “a more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found”.

As is common in obituaries, Corren’s son went on to reflect on his mother’s accomplishments, which he said included becoming the “11th or 12th-ranked woman in cribbage in America” in the 1980s, before acknowledging that that could be a lie.

“She also told us she came up with the name for Sunoco, and I choose to believe this, too. Yes, Renay lied a lot,” he continued, adding that, although she was “lousy with money,” and didn’t cook or clean, his mother was great at other things, such as “dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines”.

“Hers was a bawdy, rowdy life lived large, broke and loud,” Andy continued.

In the tribute, Andy acknowledged that his family had been shocked by Corren’s death, as many believed she could “not be killed”.

“Renay has been toying with death for decades, but always beating it and running off in her silver Chevy Nova,” he recalled. “Covid couldn’t kill Renay. 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 70s, six kids, one caesarean, a few abortions from the Quietly Famous Abortionist of Spring Lake, NC or an affair with Larry King in the 60s.”

According to Andy, his mother is survived by numerous family members, including “her favourite son, the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time, Andy Corren, of - obviously - New York City” and her two “beloved granddogs, Mia and Hudson”.

Andy concluded the eulogy noting that there would be a “very disrespectful” memorial for his mother on 10 May 2022, that would take place “most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, NC”.

Corren’s son then joked that the family “requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none whatsoever, and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a one-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance,” of which there is none, as he claimed: “She spent it all.”

While the obituary was largely comical, Corren’s son ended it earnestly, with a reminder of how much his mother was loved by her family.

“Bye, Mommy. We loved you to bits,” he wrote.

On social media, where the obituary has gone viral, hundreds of people have praised Andy for the irreverent tribute.

“The obituary bar has been raised. What a tribute,” one person tweeted, while another said: “One could only hope for an obituary this magnificent.”

Others said the tribute would likely have been approved by Corren, with someone else adding: “The last line, though. I bet she would have loved every line of this.”

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