Some people spend their whole lives vying for fame. To get your name up in lights in Iowa, all you have to do is die.
The Iles Funeral Home in Des Moines is now offering electronic obituaries on area billboards. The digital announcements last about 8 seconds and feature the deceased person's name, picture and service details as well as the funeral home's Web site. The extra service is offered at no charge.
When I was a kid in the 1960s, some funeral homes in Western Pennsylvania had announcement boards outside similar to those of churches that offer the title of the sermon for Sunday.
Some were less classy, like the signs at gas stations that show prices for gasoline, oil changes and potato chips.
The ones at the funeral homes were something like movie theater marquees.
But instead of announcing coming attractions and showtimes, they announced recent departures (a.k.a. deaths) and calling hours.
The Des Moines billboards takes this concept to another level.
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