Consider this the written version of urinating on a dead person’s grave.
The children of a Minnesota woman allegedly wrote a scathing obituary after their mother’s passing. The obit details her infidelity and their subsequent abandonment.
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Kathleen Dehmlow died at the age of 80 on May 31, in Springfield, Minn. Four days later, the Redwood Falls Gazette published her obituary in print, and it revealed some shocking details about her life.
Allegedly penned by her children, Gina and Jay, the obituary went from standard fare that included details about her birth, marriage and children, to more salacious details about an affair with her brother-in-law that resulted in a pregnancy.
“In 1962, she became pregnant by her husband’s brother Lyle Dehmlow and moved to California,” it read. “She abandoned her children, Gina and Jay, who were then raised by her parents in Clements, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Schunk.”
It went on to say that she will “now face judgement.”
The writers concluded the obituary by saying, “She will not be missed by Gina and Jay, and they understand that this world is a better place without her.”
The obit went viral and international publications quickly picked up the story, prompting the Gazette to remove the online version from its site. When asked by the Minneapolis Star Tribune why it published it, all general manager Lisa Drafall said was that it was paid for by the family.
Reaction to the obituary on social media was mixed, with many people calling for “respect and dignity in death” — although others viewed it as “fair.”
Dwight Dehmlow, whose precise familial connection to the deceased isn’t clear, told the Star Tribune that “there is a lot of stuff that is missing” from Kathleen’s story.
“The sad thing about this is there is no rebuttal. There is more to it than this. It’s not simple,” he said. “She made a mistake 60 years ago, but who hasn’t? Has she regretted it over the years? Yes.”
He also told the newspaper that Kathleen was admitted to a nursing home one year ago and died surrounded by her sisters.
Dwight said whoever penned the obit “decided to go out with hate. This is going to hurt a lot of people.”
Its publishing prompted an investigation of standards by legacy.com, an online obituary website, although Mark Anfinson, attorney for the Minnesota Newspaper Association, said it didn’t break any laws.