Barry Saunders

The latest place for partisanship – an obituary

Larry Darrell Upright would be laughing at all of this, his son, Mike Upright, said.

No one can ask Larry Upright what he is thinking: he died April 13. The obituary that listed his loves and accomplishments ended with this: “Also, the family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. R.I.P. Grandaddy.”

Does this signify that politics has assumed the same exalted position previously occupied around these parts by NASCAR and ACC basketball – a fanaticism that extends into the grave?

David Whitley, of Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis, which handled the arrangements, said, “As far as being political, this is the first one we’ve seen. They didn’t put anything in there bad. They did it respectfully. ... People will talk about NASCAR, ACC basketball teams, but this is the first” obit with a political message..

Leave them laughing

Levity in a loved one’s obit is laudable. I wrote hundreds of such obits at the Atlanta Constitution newspaper and plan to use the old Woody Allen line in mine, which I hope won’t be written for 57 more years: his only regret in life was that he was not someone else.

Commenting on the worldwide attention this anti-Hillary obit received, Whitley said, “I guess they just wrote this one at the right time.” Upright died the day after Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency.

Efforts to reach Upright’s family were unsuccessful, but in a television interview his daughter, Jill McLain, said, “It’s a free country, and what we did, we thought was right for us ... He was very passionate about politics.”

Because of his passion, it is not tremendously surprising that his family would send Upright off with a political message. We’ve all heard of people being buried in jerseys of their favorite sports teams and people contesting season tickets in wills and divorces.

Scores of responses – pro-Hil and pro-Upright – are on the funeral home’s condolences page. “There are a couple hundred that we haven’t even put on there yet,” Whitley said.

Most of the responses are apolitical and simply extend prayers and best wishes to the bereaved family. Some, though, take sides – and most of those promise to honor the request made in the obit. A fellow Shriner named Bill wrote, “You can rest assure(d) my family will honor your father’s request. NO VOTE FOR HC.”

Someone else wrote, “After hearing your story on Fox News this morning we wanted to extend our sympathy to all of you & let you know we ... will NOT be voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

Out with a song

Here, to the tune of The Marvelettes’ “Don’t Mess With Bill,” is the Upright family’s musical obit wish, “Don’t Vote for Hil.”

Maestro, hit it:

Don’t vote for Hil, no no no no

Don’t vote for Hil.

Hil is the one who’ll take all of our guns,

You’d better heed my words.

A Dem won’t rest until there’s not one left,

Not even for shooting birds.

If you love your freedom

then don’t you be dumb

Unh unh.

Don’t vote for Hil.

No no no no ...

Now, there’s Rand and there’s Jeb and there’s Ted and Scott

Just to name a few.

Vote for them or don’t vote at all

but whatever else you do

I may be dead

but hear what I said.

Don’t vote for Hil.

Leave Hilly alone.

Send her and Bill back home.

I don’t like her hair

and she supports ’bamacare.

She’ll take every gun that shoots

and she wears pant suits.

Just think of Benghazi

reject her and her posse

If you vote for Hillary Rod-ham

I’ll just be ... disappointed.

Uh huh ... Don’t vote for Hil.

Saunders: 919-836-2811 or