In greater numbers than ever before, the dead are making presidential vote requests in their obituaries. Obituary website Legacy.com‘s vice president for operations Katie Falzone was interviewed on Weekend Edition about the growing number of vote requests included in ever more colorful obituaries. For example:
When Elaine Fydrych in New Jersey passed away at the age of 63, her obituary included the request, “in lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Hillary Clinton.” And this from the obit of Joseph Vogt of Virginia – when he died at the age of 64, “Joe also loved the Republican Party. God bless him, as this will thankfully be one less vote for Donald Trump in the presidential election.”
In her interview with Scott Simon, Falzone noted that in 2003-2004, there were only five references to political candidates in obituaries. So far in 2016, there have been 119 references.
She said, “One that was published in the Richmond Times Dispatch for Mary Ann Noland – ‘Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Ann Noland of Richmond chose instead to pass into the eternal love of God.'”
She also noted how obituaries have changed over the 14 years she’s been with Legacy.com. “We’re seeing people talk more about hobbies, about what they love. We’re also seeing them be more personal in how they talk about the cause of death – things like suicide, mental health struggles, drug addiction. Things that a generation ago just weren’t polite to talk about – families are much more willing to make that public now.”
Listen to the full NPR interview: