Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jeff Gammage's obituary for Inquirer obituary writer Gayle Ronan Sims ran in her home paper today - April 24, 2009 - eight days after she died at age 61.
Why the delay? Gammage described Gayle as:
an obituary writer who wanted neither a funeral nor an obituary for herself.
Her family tried to respect her wishes, but ultimately gave in to pressure from Gayle's peers and the realization that readers would wonder why her byline had disappeared.
Fellow members of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) will remember Gayle tomorrow (Sunday, April 25, 2009) during the SPOW Awards Luncheon in Charlotte, N.C., with the unveiling of the Gayle Ronan Sims Award for Excellence, Professionalism and Spirit.
The organization had planned several weeks ago - before Gayle went into the hospital for lung transplant surgery - to surprise her by establishing the award and presenting it to her.
Gayle had planned to act as the local host of the 2010 SPOW Convention in Philadelphia. Her colleagues will still hold the convention in Philly in her memory. Tentative dates: April 22-24, 2010.
Here's the obit John F. Morrison wrote for the Philadelphia Daily News: Gayle Sims, empathetic Inky obit writer.
Post a Comment