I Want To Win An ObitKit™ – A Guide to Celebrating Your Life!


I saw this announcement from Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers about the opportunity to win a free "ObitKit- A Guide to Celebrating Your Life!" and instantly decided, I want to win one! The ObitKit  is an upbeat, detailed book which helps give you ideas and put together your life story.

In order to enter, you need to write your own obit and post it on your blog. I have long felt that I would like to write my own obituary because I don't feel others would know dates, places or even enough about me to write one that included everything I felt it should. As a family historian, I look at making sure I have the correct names, dates and information above all else. As long as I have felt that I want to write my own obituary, I have never attempted to do so. That is until tonight. I found it is much more difficult than you might think. At one point it seemed I was writing my life story, and needed to makes cuts and shorten everything up. 

Suddenly, it dawned on me I was missing the GeneaBloggers Blog Talk Radio program, all because I was involved in trying to write my own obituary, wanting to win the prize! Tonight's radio program was titled: "The Final Chapter-Obituaries, Death Records and Genealogy." Of all nights to miss...I tuned in to the last 20 minutes of the program.

After listening to that 20 minutes, I realized I needed to hear the whole program before I worked any more on my obituary, so I went to the archived show and immediately listened. An idea came to me from listening to the program. Because of today's online obituaries, maybe it was okay to write my obit like a story. Seems to me that it wouldn't matter how long the obit was, I won't believe you would be paying for space, like you would for a newspaper article. 

So, here is the first attempt at my obit. I decided not to mess with it anymore at this stage, although it will definitely be fine tuned and updated and I am sure changed. I did leave out personal information as you will see names and such denoted with ****.  Remember this is a rough draft I decided to share.

Cheryl Palmer, ** yrs old, passed away at her home in (address for private use) Alameda Co., California. She was born in Oakland, California at Merritt Hospital in 19** to ************** and ***************. A couple of years later her parents divorced. Her mother remarried and Cheryl's last name became *******.

Cheryl spent her entire life in Alameda County. She went to schools there and graduated from Don's Beauty School in 19**. Having passed the state board exam and earning her license, she became a working cosmetologist at age 17. The day she turned 18 she moved away from her home and lived on her own.

She married ************** when she was ** in 19**. Their only child, a girl, was born ***** **, **** in *********.

One year she and her husband were staying at Harvey's Hotel when a bomb was planted there. They were ordered to evacuate very early that particular morning. She claimed she had never seen a casino so empty. Authorities later set off that bomb. 

In **** their divorce was final, and a few months later, Cheryl married *************. With this marriage came another daughter, ****************, just six months younger than her own daughter. She often said she felt like she raised twins.

This new husband woke her up to the world. They fished together and attended many sporting events, softball, baseball, soccer etc. He taught her to water ski, golf and ride a motorcycle. She was the proud owner of three brand new Harley Davidson's, the last being a 100th anniversary Fat Boy, which eventually was custom painted and totally chromed out. She belonged to two Harley clubs, was a Ladies of Harley Officer in the first club and a charter member in the second club.

Cheryl and her husband loved to travel. Her first "out of the country" trip was to Mexico. Next was Costa Rica, where her husband was born. They went several times to Costa Rica to visit family. On her Harleys, Cheryl rode to Canada, Mexico, and South Dakota (Sturgis). Many miles were ridden in California, seeing back roads and beautiful country. Some of her best friends were from the Harley chapter and made theses trips with her and her husband. Cheryl has also been on five cruises, the Bahamas, 3 Mexican and a Mediterranean cruise.

She had many hobbies which at one time or another included: crocheting, knitting, tatting, embroidery, sewing, quilting, card making, macramé, sand painting, crewel, needlepoint, coin collecting, couponing, reading, jewelry making, scrapbooking, painting, genealogy, working puzzles,  yoga,swimming, and more. 

In 19** Cheryl entered a few crochet items in the Alameda Co. Fair. She won several first and second place awards for baby clothes, but took "Best of Fair" for a thread tablecloth that took her two years to make. (She was told she would never get it made...that was the best challenge!) She was convinced by the fair workers to enter the tablecloth in the California State Fair that year, where it took first place.

Cheryl worked 30 years in the Cosmetology industry, and retired. She had an independent craft business for several years, "Cheryl Palmer's Pretty Punch." She also worked several office jobs (clerk, benefits coordinator, events planner, & payroll) and as a sales clerk at a Harley Davidson store. She retired from working again in 20** at the age of **.

Life now became filled with grandchildren, crafts, and supporting her daughter's adventures. She started a "home care" dog sitting business and held Crafts Shows in her home.

Surviving is Cheryl's wonderful husband, ************, her two amazing daughter's ****************(and amazing Son in Law, ***************), *********, California and ****************, *********** Tennessee . Cheryl leaves behind two grandchildren, the "prince and princess" whom she absolutely adored! Also surviving are Cheryl's two sister's ************* (*************) & ************, and two nephews, ***************, and *************. Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents, **************, ( & ***************) & *************** along with brother in law *************. 

A bit long wouldn't you say? Have you written your obituary? Did you find it difficult?

Thanks Thomas for this challenge! I sure hope I am one of the lucky ones to win the prize!

(I am also testing a larger font as I know some people prefer it. Let me know your opinion on the font size, and I will go by popular vote. I chose to put this in the normal font I use, so you can see the difference. Wow, this was a loooooong post! But, I am done now.)

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


  1. We paid almost $400 for the obit I wrote for my father-in-law last month. It appeared in the Detroit News and the local paper here for ONE day. So, yeah, pretty expensive.

  2. That is an amazing amount of money for an obit! Was it very long?

  3. Well done. And I do like the larger font.

  4. I do not think I can do this. It makes me sad to even think about it. When my eldest turned 18, I had a conversation with her about my wishes in case something happened (she would be the one responsible for the decision since I am not legally married) and have no living will at this point. I cried through it. Though, my advice to her was to talk with her Dad and let him make the decisions since he is in the health care field.

    It is a lovely obit you wrote Cheryl and I give you major props for writing it. The best part of it is I learned more about my cousin! :)

  5. Michelle, thank you for letting me know about the font! I will try to remember to keep it larger.

    Terri, it is not for everyone to do for sure. I am sure it was difficult to talk with your daughter regarding your wishes.It is a good thing you did it however! Thank you for reading and getting to know me better Cuz! It actually helped me to know you better also!

  6. Congratulations on winning!
    you won and I didn't :(

  7. Congrats to the other winner! Can't wait to get my copy, how about you? (Like I have to guess.) We will have to compare notes on it after we both have a chance to get a look at it.


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