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Home > Blog > Obit of the Week
Out of Our Minds
Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:23 AM
Obit of the Week
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

I collect obits. OK, perhaps that sounds a little morbid and perhaps 'collect' is too strong of a word. But I do clip them occassionally and believe they are among the best ways to measure a well-lived life.

I look for long life and, if there is a photo, a twinkle in the eye. One of my favorites appeared today: 'Ulrich Inderbinen, 103, Guide of the Alps for Seven Decades.'

A few highlights from his life: He worked until he was 95. He said that he entered one of the best periods of his life after the age of 80 when he started competing in skiing races. He received a pair of skis for his 90th birthday -- the same year he last climbed the Matterhorn -- and a mountain-climbing ax when he was 95. He had his first dental appointment when he was 74.

'I have never felt bored,' he once told an Associated Press reporter. 'That is, unless my clients walk too slowly.' He died in his sleep.

What a life.


7 comments

S. Clark - 4/24/2005 1:36:17 AM
If you love obits, you must check out www.blogofdeath.com. Its a neat site.
Carolyn M. Gilbert - 6/22/2004 5:33:53 PM
Anita,
Welcome to the wonderful world of the obituary! Not only do we collect them, we actually hold international annual conferences for obit writers in order to focus on the art of the obituary. The obit is the ultimate short story of a life and it requires special writers.
I hope you will take a look at our site www.ObitPage.com for an overview of our passion for the obituary. Thanks for your e-zine.
Carolyn M. Gilbert, Founder
International Association of Obituarists
7th Great Obituary Writers' International Conference
June 16-18, 2005
Bath, England
anita - 6/21/2004 9:46:23 AM
Evelyn,

Thanks for the book tip and also, earlier, for suggesting 'The Seven Day Weekend,' which I'm going to write about soon.
Evelyn Rodriguez - 6/21/2004 12:09:43 AM
Anita- I think you would enjoy the book, 'Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development'
by George E., Md. Vaillant.
Susan Soper - 6/17/2004 10:35:28 PM
In my 20s, I wrote obits briefly at Newsday when a car accident left me with such huge black eyes, they wouldn't send me out on assignment. Now, many years later and out of daily journalism, I have crafted a few recently -- some for love, a couple out of necessity and one even for pay. I highly recommend '52 McGs' written by the late Robert McG. Thomas, Jr. the NYT's master obit writer. Now deceased.
There's also a novel called 'The Obituary Writer,' by Porter Shreve. I hope to read it before I die.
Randy Berlin - 6/17/2004 5:48:19 PM
I don't collect them but I keep my eye out for people who've been married for more than 50 years. I just signed up a customer who's been married for 63 years and still trys to run the family business. (His son runs it now).
His secret 'Don't say anything that will make her mad.'
I'm sure his Obit will catch your eye in 20 or so years.
Jill - 6/17/2004 3:39:29 PM
I too am beginning to love obits. Thanks for this one. What an amazing man. King of the Alps indeed Us later middle-aged folk need examples like this to show us what the decades ahead of us be if we live life full.

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