(NEXSTAR) — It’s a loving tribute, even if it doesn’t always come off that way.
An obituary for a 84-year-old woman named Renay Mandel Corren is going viral thanks to her son’s blunt, shocking, and often hilarious account of her life.
“A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday,” begins the obituary, which was published in The Fayetteville Observer this week.
The deceased woman’s son, Andy Corren, goes on to describe his mother as an avid bowler with an affinity for dirty jokes, as well as a “talented and gregarious grifter” who was lousy with money and enjoyed spending her cash — at least partially — at the casino.
“There will be much mourning in the many glamorous locales she went bankrupt in,” wrote Andy.
The obituary, published Wednesday, began going viral on Twitter after crime writer Sarah Weinman shared a link, writing simply, “This obit, my god.”
Within days, the link was retweeted more than 7,000 times, and the post liked by over 35,000 users.
“You could not anticipate the next word if you tried,” one reader remarked, singling out a passage that claimed Larry King was Corren’s “ex-boyfriend” before discussing Corren’s deceased daughter, who apparently lost an eyeball in a “near-fatal Pepsi bottle incident.” Another said it was the “most interesting obit I HAVE EVER READ.”
Andy, however, noted that his mother “lied a lot.”
“At one point in the 1980’s, Renay was the 11th or 12th-ranked woman in cribbage in America, and while that could be a lie, it sounds great in print. She also told us she came up with the name for Sunoco, and I choose to believe this, too,” he wrote.
Andy added that Corren had been stricken with COVID, breast cancer, pneumonia and blood clots, but managed to survive them all.
“We thought Renay could not be killed. God knows, people tried. A lot,” Andy wrote. “Renay has been toying with death for a decades, but always beating it and running off in her silver Chevy Nova.”
Corren, who died in El Paso, Texas, but lived part of her life in North Carolina, is survived by her children — including “the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time” — and her grandchildren and granddogs, according to the obituary.
“The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none [whatsoever], and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a 1-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance,” Andy wrote. “She spent it all, folks. She left me nothing but these lousy memories.”
“Bye, Mommy,” he concluded the obit. “We loved you to bits.”