Scathing obituary about abusive mother becomes Internet sensation

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Photo: My-delirium.deviantart.com

If religious convictions alone aren’t enough to make a person want to treat others with love and respect, perhaps avoiding a scathing obituary for all to see will provide addition motivation.

A deceased mother of eight in Reno, Nev., has received what has to be one of the most scathing obituaries ever.

Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick passed away late last month at a Reno nursing home at the age of 79, and her children paid tribute to her by revealing the horrible abuse they endured while in her care, as reported by the local Fox affiliate.

“On behalf of her children who she abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children,” the obituary began.

It further stated: “Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit. Our greatest wish now is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”

The obituary was printed last week in the Reno Gazette-Journal and appeared on RGJ.com after it was submitted through a self-service online portal, Fox 5 Vegas noted. And it quickly became an Internet sensation.

The newspaper would later remove the obituary to review “the circumstances surrounding its placement,” according to John Maher, president and publisher of the Gazette-Journal.

“Everything in there was completely true,” son Patrick Reddick told The Associated Press on Thursday, describing his mother as a “wicked, wicked witch,” Fox 5 Vegas reported.

He said the goal was to “shame her a little bit” but that the “main purpose for putting it in there was to bring awareness to child abuse… shame child abuse overall.”

The experiences of Johnson-Reddick’s children prompted Nevada to become one of the first states to allow children to sever parental ties back in the 1980s.

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Tom Tillison

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