What Will Your Epitaph Say? Part 2



Fayette News


I love to make people laugh and my speaking engagements create some of the best times when I can crack wise and there will be laughter afterwards.

I was asked to “perform” at the October 2020 Oak Hill Cemetery Tour in Newnan. Since the cemetery dates back to 1833 when Coweta County was still welcoming pioneer families, the graveyard carries some buried secrets of those who came before and since. The storytellers stood at several points throughout and told of a person or family who were either famous or infamous in Coweta County.

For my part, I was asked to dress up as a turn-of-the-century woman of means. My outfit was a custom made floor length royal blue polyester silk dress buttoned in the back with large puff sleeves, high collar with a white lace jabot and a fake diamond brooch pin attached, white lace gloves, and a black velvet hat with veil, and another fake diamond pin added to it. I was supposed to be representative of some past grandeur of the town’s families in ‘The City of Homes”. (The gorgeous and grand homes of Newnan were spared because Sherman marched east to Savannah, as we well know.)

Oak Hill Cemetery is just as grand: elegant epitaphs, Victorian statuary, box tombs, and every style of marker from 1833. Among the engravings, I didn’t find but one out of sync that only had the person’s name and under it read, “She Died”. No birth or death date.

There I was, as a gatekeeper, welcoming visitor groups as they entered the serene setting. Since I was asked to open wide the iron gates for guests to visit, and humorist that I am, I felt they should get their laughs on before entering the serious tone of their future stops.  Here are some engraved inscriptions, not at Oak Hill, that I shared with the tour groups before entering.

These Geneva Weaver <geneva@fayette-news.net> Geneva Weaver <geneva@fayette-news.net> etchings are found in FAMOUS LAST WORDS & TOMBSTONE HUMOR by Gyles Brandreth. Most are witty and I hope, as you read, you’ll enjoy a bit of humor in them because in these hesitant times we now find ourselves, we still need a chuckle.

They may not all be verified, but even so, I hope they at least bring you a smile.

In memory of Mr. Peter Daniels


Beneath this stone, this lump of clay, lies uncle Peter Daniels,

Who too early in the month of May, took off his winter flannels.

Medway, Massachusetts


He called Bill Smith a liar.

Cripplecreek, Colorado


Sacred to the memory of Jared Bates

Who died Aug. the 6th 1800

His widow, aged 24, lives at 7 Elm Street

Has every qualification for a good wife,

And yearns to be comforted.

Lincoln, Maine


In memory of Mrs. Alpha White, weight 309 lbs.

Open wide ye heavenly gates that lead to the heavenly shore;

Our father suffered in passing through and mother weighs much more.

Lee, Massachusetts


Here lies the body of John Mound

Lost at sea and never found.

Winslow, Maine



Ran for sheriff, 1872.

Ran for sheriff, 1876.

Buried, 1876.

Boot Hill Cemetery, Dodge City, Kansas


Played five aces,

Now playing the harp.

Boot Hill Cemetery, Dodge City, Kansas


Here lies the body of Susan Lowder

Who burst while drinking a Seidliz powder.

Called from this world to her Heavenly Rest

She should have waited till it effervesced. 1798

Burlington, New Jersey


And one of my all time favorites:

Here lies Jane Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, marble cutter.

This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to

Her memory and specimen of his work.

Monuments of the same style 350 dollars.

Springdale, Ohio.