Family writes honest obituary for Parma father in Plain Dealer

Daughter writes obit to capture spirit of father

PARMA, Ohio - Heather Brown Koranteng probably didn't have any idea that a simple act of writing her father's obituary would gather attention, and chuckles, nationwide.

But, Dennis Clark Brown lived his life brutally honest. His obit, printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on April 24, was just as honest.

It was filled with tales of Brown's life, including his pet peeve of slow left-turn drivers, the downsides of alcohol and his expertise of making sandwiches at his deli.

Koranteng said she just wanted to write about a man who deserved something more than mere facts in print about where to send flowers.

"I just wanted to give a sense of who he really was. Maybe just tell a story about his character, so there wasn't so much focus on just the facts of who outlived him, and how he died, and how old he was, but a sense of what he was like as a person, which is very mixed like most people. There was a lot that we enjoyed about our father and there was a lot that was difficult," said Koranteng.

With her sisters, Hillary and Meggin, at her side, they kidded with their only brother, Aaron, about each of their traits mirroring their father in some form.

"He was clever and he was funny. He was inappropriate half the time, which is why we're inappropriate most of our lives," said Hillary Brown.

"I thought that she captured so much in such a short amount of space and it was just so fitting and it just said a lot. Very truthful and wonderful," said Meggin Brown.

Dennis Clark Brown was on vacation visiting his family when he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.

This weekend family gathered from points along the east coast. One honest obituary bringing them together with a few laughs at a sad time. A few laughs outside on a warm, sunny spring day in Cleveland that Dennis Clark Brown would have approved, as long as he didn't have to hear rap music while driving in his car.

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