At a luncheon this week, the ladies were all babbling about an obituary which appeared in the Jackson, MS Clarion Ledger newspaper on October 4. No longer a subscriber, I missed it, but will probably renew if this is their new obit policy. Thanks Martha, for sending it to me.
I couldn’t possibly print the entire charming four column, practically full page announcement (containing 40 paragraphs of run-on sentences) of the death of Jan Conner of Ethel, Mississippi. But I reprint some of the juicier parts for your enjoyment:
“Mrs. Conner died at the home of her favorite daughter Jill Conner Brown on Wednesday, September 30.
“She became a Southerner by choice when she finally defied the wishes of her mother (who by all accounts and evidence, the Meanest Woman Who Ever Lived) by marrying and following “that hillbilly” back to Mississippi where they lived happily until Mr. Conner’s untimely death in 1982, after which Mrs. Conner never gave so much as a thought to another man.”
The Conner’s home was a haven for all the children in the surrounding neighborhoods, having a wide-open, fully-stocked kitchen, a refrigerator full of Cokes and the only swimming pool for miles around. (It should be noted that the 20′ by 40′, 7-foot deep hole for this pool was personally dug, with picks and shovels by the Conners.)
“Mrs. Conner’s daughters, the aforementioned Jill, and that other one, Judy, were finally sources of pride for Jan as they both became bestselling authors. It did remain a life-long disappointment to her, however, that neither of them ever chose to pursue the career she would have preferred for them: writing messages for greeting cards.
“She never turned away a hungry creature of any species. She basically, over time, stole the neighbor’s non-descript brown dog, Rascal, and was somehow able to elicit from him that, although before moving in with us he had considered himself fortunate to a dab of dog food now and again, all he truly liked to eat was chicken livers and that further-more he only liked them fried very brown and crispy.”
The latter years of her life were spent joyfully at The Waterford (personal care home) on Highland Colony with her many friends, especially the rowdy bunch on the Second Floor North. She declared that living at the Waterford was “like being on a cruise everyday.”
Since 1999, no St. Paddy’s Parade was complete without the lead car carrying “The Queen Mothers of the Sweet Potato Queens.”
‘No flowers please, Mrs. Conner was allergic. Because of Jan’s lifelong propensity for taking in strays, be they four-legged or two, she would love for you to make a very generous donation to the only no-kill animal shelter in Rankin County.”
There will be a mercifully brief and joyous memorial service on Monday, Oct. 5 followed by Celebration of a Life Beautifully Lived and a Very Fun Reception, until around 7 p.m.”
I wish I had known Ja n. Here’s to you, Queen Mother of the Sweet Potato Queens. Being a card carrying member of the rival Turnip Green Queens, I salute your moxie and hereby bestow on you honorary membership in our little North Mississippi fraternity.