The death this week of 49-year-old journalist Betsy Cohen touched many lives, including the lives of people who never even met her because of this incredible obituary that ran in the Missoulian, the paper where she worked. Described as the embodiment of "the candle that burns twice as brightly but burns half as long," the obit recalled how Cohen's three-year battle with cancer "scarcely dimmed" her delightful and sometimes outrageous sense of humor.
"Recalling how, as a child, she once holed up in a closet and ate all the Girl Scout cookies she was assigned to sell always reduced her to hysterics. With fits of laughter, she’d describe the time her skirt fell off at a Missoula County Public Schools board meeting."
The obit also added this personal touch:
"Betsy rocked Montana with her arrival and has done so again with her passing. No one, but no one, can fill her size-5 shoes."
Obituary writing is one of journalism's lost arts: Obits are among the best-read features of newspapers and a good obit -- like this one -- tells a life story and captures the spirit. Betsy, we didn't know you but feel like we did.
Some other recent obits have also captured the Internet's attention. Mary A. "Pink" Mullaney, an 85-year-old Wisconsin woman was so adored by her family that they crafted one of the loveliest obituaries we've ever read. And who can forget this gem, self-written by Seattle-based author and editor Jane Catherine Lotter?