An Obituary With Bite (and Affection)

Most obituaries in the Miami Herald are kind of boring. Not this one, Herald librarian one of a kind, for Rose Klayman, a former Herald librarian, sometime Playboy bunny, and neighborhood fixture:

A hard-drinking, two-pack-a-day smoker who swore like a sailor, Rose Klayman died of respiratory failure.

She loved management conspiracy theories and gossip, and treasured her grudges.

In a bad mood — which was often — she could be mean as a snake. But she cared deeply about the colleagues she liked and turned herself inside out for them.

“She was a natural news researcher who loved the news, loved the work and loved helping reporters,” said one-time boss Elisabeth Donovan. “But it requires a calm demeanor, and Rose was never calm.”

She was, however, frequently kind, attentive and motherly, committing small acts of generosity like bringing a colleague designer jeans from a thrift shop and reminding another to keep his head up and “not let the bastards get you down.”

Former library colleague Ruthey Golden recalls that her friend “was always buying some homeless man or woman food. I know one cold day she came to work with no coat, crying. I said,
'Rose, what's the matter?' She said, 'I had to do it, Ruthey… . I just gave that woman laying in the street my coat. I feel bad for her.' That's just how Rose was.”

She loathed and loudly cursed the officious, and abusers of power.

And those are only some of the choice bits.

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8 Responses to An Obituary With Bite (and Affection)

  1. Go Democrats says:

    Exploiting someone else’s passing in a satirical mockery for your own sick and demented personal satisfaction.

    Why am I not surprised you would do such a thing.

    Shame Shame Shame on you Froomkin.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m sorry you think that. I think this was written by someone at the Herald who knew her personally, and that person thought it was exactly the obit she would have wanted. Obviously I didn’t know her, but from the sound of it, it’s the sort of thing she would have wanted. And if you read the whole obit it’s clearly friendly, not satirical. (Did you read the whole thing?)

  3. Brautigan says:

    If all I leave behind in this world is an obit that beautiful, I’ll die happy.

  4. SEO says:

    Hehe classic i love it!

    Don’t worry Michael, it’s quite clear Mr Democrats just didn’t get it and his view on life is different to the deceased and their family.

    Loosen up Mr Democrats, we all have to die it’s inevitable and a few of us have broken out of the stereotypical mold and would love an obituary other than your typical “Rest in Peace”. I know i’d love my passing event to highlight my life rather than my death.

    Carly,

  5. Go Democrats says:

    I pity all of your children, and all those who support such outlandish discourse postings.

    Although it may be true that such an obituary is unique and interesting, it is not ok to post it on a worldwide medium in an effort to draw laughter and attention to an otherwise hopeless webpage. Such motives demonstrate a lack of respect for the living… and the dead.

  6. Liz Donovan says:

    I knew Rose, in fact worked with her for nearly twenty years. So did Ellie Brecher, who wrote the story. I thought it was beautiful. Rose would have loved it.

  7. Go Democrats says:

    Liz Donovan,

    Nobody doubts the uniqueness and beauty of the posting, the finger is being pointed at the person who is attempting to benefit from the tragedies of others.

    His actions are comparable to those who pretended to accept donations for the victims of September 11, and then pocketed the money for themselves. Here Froomkin is pretending that he is posting the obituary in order to show the world a “one of a kind” obituary, when really his motive is to draw people to his website to all share in a laughter/mockery of the tragedy of another.

    Whether or not the obituary is something that Rose would have wanted is irrelevant, it is the audacity of Froomkin to exploit it this way.

    And the fact that he called “[m]ost obituaries in the Miami Herald boring” is just another example of his insensitivity, arrogance, and immaturity. How would you feel if you posted an obituary for a close family member who passed away, only to have your obituary insulted as “boring” all so he can make people laugh away at your time of mourning.

    I demand an apology from Froomkin… not for myself, but for his own soul.

  8. wilder says:

    Ah, what an obit! What writing! If only… If only…

    Thank you for posting. Both the woman and the obit: golden,

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