To Die For

Texas obituaries hold a fatal attraction for me. A good one can make me laugh out loud or roll my eyes—or even mourn a person I never knew.

NEWSPAPER READERS ARE A VARIED LOT. Some need a comics fix every day. Others faithfully peruse the op-ed page or flip to Ann Landers. But I have to read the obituaries. Those little thumbnail bios can make me sniffle or giggle or roll my eyes. The front page may cover high drama—plane crashes, escaped convicts, celebrity scandals—but the obits truly validate the journalistic adage that every person has a story.

Unlike Hispanics, who honor death and

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