Tag Archives: obituary

The other obituary

3 Feb

My journalism degree qualifies me to write all of the family obituaries. That’s something they forget to tell you in j-school.

Grimes Spillman

Woodford Grimes Spillman died Jan. 29, 2013. He was 86.

Spillman was born Jan. 17, 1927, in Lawson, Mo. He lived most of his life in Jamesport, Mo., where he was president and CEO of Home Exchange Bank. He held offices in banking organizations and at one time served as regional vice president of the Missouri Bankers Association.

Spillman was a licensed insurance agent and broker, and real estate broker. He was active in several Jamesport businesses, including a lumber yard, Laundromat, property management and Western Auto store, as well as community affairs. He retired in 1977, and moved to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1983. There, Spillman worked for a short time at the First National Bank of South Padre Island, and served as executive director of the Rio Grande Valley Subcontractors Association. He owned and managed the Oakridge Apartment Complex in Harlingen, Texas, from 1995 until his death.

Spillman enlisted in the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II, serving overseas with the U.S. Merchant Marines. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1946.

Spillman is survived by two daughters, Barbara Smith of Blackwater, Mo., and Sherry and K.D. Whitt of Princeton, Mo.; one son, Terry and Cindy Spillman of Trenton, Mo.; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert V. and Estelle Spillman of Jamesport, Mo.; and one brother, Albert V. Spillman Jr. of California.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 23, 2013, at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home in Harlingen, Texas, and at 10:30 a.m. March 9, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Jamesport, Mo.

Five years ago, I wrote my grandmother’s obituary, too.

The obituary

16 Mar

Celia Bernice Fulkerson Spillman, 85, of Jamesport, Mo., died Sunday, March 9, 2008, at Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Mo.Mrs. Spillman was born Feb. 22, 1923, in Grundy County, Mo., the daughter of Clarence and Bessie Hoskins Fulkerson. She graduated from Trenton High School and the Platte-Guard Business School in St. Joseph, Mo. She married Woodford Grimes Spillman on Dec. 13, 1948, and has lived at her present address since 1963.

Mrs. Spillman was a member of the Jamesport Methodist Church and the Cloverleaf Club, both in Jamesport.

She is survived by three children, Barbara Smith of Blackwater, Mo., Sherry Whitt and her husband, K.D., of Princeton, Mo., and Terry Spillman and his wife, Cindy, of Trenton; eight grandchildren, Erica Smith, Monica Beauchamp and her husband, Marc, Adam Smith, Graham Whitt and his wife, Christina, Phillip Whitt, Katie Whitt, Josh Eaton and his wife, Jill, and Jacob Spillman; one great-granddaughter, Riley Whitt; a sister, Lucille Smith of Brimson, Mo.; a brother, Donald Ray Fulkerson and his wife, Mary Louise, of Newton, Iowa; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Lowell Bond Fulkerson.

A family visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, 2008, at Resthaven Mortuary, north of Trenton. Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13, 2008, at Jamesport Methodist Church; the Rev. Richard Key will officiate. Burial will follow at Edinburg IOOF Cemetery at Edinburg, Mo. Memorial donations are suggested to the Jamesport Methodist Church or the Edinburg cemetery.

I didn’t write it with courtesy titles, but other than that and missing half a sentence about my grandparents being divorced, it’s pretty much unchanged and very straight-forward. (OK, I did have to fix some punctuation things that the paper had wrong, but I’d written correctly.)

Journalist = obituary writer

10 Mar

My family doesn’t really understand what I do for a living. The simple answer, if people ask, is “journalist.” More precisely, a Web and page designer. Some of my family members still ask when they’ll see my name in the paper. (As in “byline,” not “police report.” Although either one had better be a long way off.)

As the family journalist, it is my responsibility to write obituaries. I don’t know why, it just is. The last one was for my mother’s dog. Seriously, Gladys was a very important part of the family. It was a very difficult time, especially for my mother, and she asked me to write an obit that she could send out.

Now I’ve been tasked with writing my grandmother’s obit. I’ve been putting it off for hours. Time to brush up on those college obituary writing skills, I guess.