He enjoyed buttermilk in a martini glass, garnished with cornbread. Not one to suffer cats, “Law and Order” or Martha Stewart gladly, he liked his women smart and his eggs deviled, and he eschewed style as we realize it in choose of excessive-waisted shorts, simple T-shirts, and a grass-stained Mississippi State University baseball cap.
In short, Harry Weathersby Stamps turned into an individual.
His hilarious obituary and the tale at the back of it is nonetheless one of the most famous stories the Sun Herald has ever posted online.
The obit changed into picked up internationally, from Australia to England’s Daily Mail and GQ UK to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
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His request to end “The Devil’s Time” additionally led to a legit petition to Congress to end Daylight Saving Time. However, as of 2018, it has now not but been repealed.
At the time, his spouse, Ann Stamps, said she changed into touched by the heaps of feedback the own family observed on Facebook, Twitter, online obituary visitor books and different online sources.
“I recognize this could all hit me later,” she said, “but there could not be a grieving own family in Mississippi that has had this much amusing.”
Here is Stamps’ full obituary as it seemed in 2013 in the Sun Herald:
“Harry Weathersby Stamps, girls’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and performed traveler, died on Saturday, March nine, 2013.
Harry became regionally sourcing his food years earlier than chefs in California beginning the use of cilantro and arugula (each of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured one hundred% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home grew tomatoes from outdoor Oxford and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a factor of delight, he alleged to consider each meal he had eaten in his eighty years of existence.
The women in his lifestyles have been several. He mainly fancied clever women. He cherished his mother Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the assist of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after his father Walter’s death whilst Harry become 12. He worshipped his older sister Lynn Stamps Garner (deceased), a man or woman in her own right, and her daughter Lynda Lightsey of Hattiesburg. He married his primary squeeze Ann Moore, a domestic economics instructor, almost 50 years in the past, with whom they’d ladies Amanda Lewis of Dallas, and Alison of Starkville. He taught them to fish, to pick out a fine hammer, to like nature, and to simply be thankful. He took top notch pleasure in stocking their tool containers. One of his regrets was no longer seeing his lady, Hillary Clinton, elected President.
He had a lifestyles-lengthy love affair with deviled eggs, Lane desserts, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his self-made canned fig preserves, red meat chops, turnip veggies, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread.
He excelled at developing camellias, rebuilding homes after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his the front backyard, composting pine needles, dwelling inside his manner, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a sport of competitive illness, and analyzing any records book he should get his arms on. He cherished to apply his outsized “antique man” far-flung control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between looking The Barefoot Contessa and something on The History Channel. He took excessive pride in his two grandchildren Harper Lewis (eight) and William Stamps Lewis (6) of Dallas for whom he would crow like a hen on their telephone calls. As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry became thoroughly inquisitive about politics and faith and loved looking politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He becomes fond of pronouncing a phrase he coined “I am no longer strolling for political office or looking to get married” while he changed into “speaking the fact.” He also took satisfaction in his carrier all through the Korean struggle, serving the rank of corporal–just like Napolean, as he might say.
Harry took style cues from nobody. His signature everyday appearance was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed through the style house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and offered solely on the Sam’s on Highway forty nine, and a couple of vintage school Wallabees (who may even don’t forget in which he was given the ones?) that have been usually paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.
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Harry traveled substantially. He simplest stayed inside the finest pleasant AAA-rated campgrounds, his preferred being Indian Creek outdoor Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his own family to tour in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.
The Sun Herald delved into Stamps’ backstory rapidly after his rise to fame. Here is an excerpt from a story written in 2013:
South Mississippians who examine it have been treated to perhaps the maximum wonderful, heat and enlightening obituary seen in years. Through the obituary’s loving humor, mild candor and giggle-out-loud moments, those obvious few who never took a category taught through Stamps got to know him — and remorse they failed to meet him in life.
The obituary went viral within the Twittersphere and on Facebook.
“He would not recognize what going viral means. He would have the concept that turned into a sickness he shriveled, which might have excited him to have every other contamination to lord over oldsters,” daughter Amanda Lewis, who wrote the obituary, instructed the Sun-Herald at the time. A lawyer who lives in Dallas, she wrote it in the course of the ride to Long Beach, where Stamps died at home, surrounded by his circle of relatives.
“My sister, Alison, teaches English as a second language at MSU, and she edited it for me,” she stated. “He so was no longer a ‘the trumpets of Heaven are blowing’ sort. This is who my dad became.
“I kept wondering if things — there are loads of factors I just could not installed there — and I idea, ‘Mama’s now not going to permit me to run that.’ But she read it and said, ‘That’s him,’ ” Lewis said.
“Probably the nice compliment I’ve gotten is that as a minimum six people asked if he wrote it,” she said.
Alison Stamps said her father’s story is difficult to summarize.
“It’s difficult to seize him in only one story,” she stated. “For all people, he turned into like this.”
She recalled holidays.
“Every holiday changed into approximately visiting ancient sites. There became 12 months we went to Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg; he usually desired us to examine something at the same time,” she stated. “He became one man in a circle of relatives of sturdy ladies, however, he favored it. His worst nightmare would be to should visit an outlet mall whilst we shopped, however, he could do it. If we went on an excursion and did the historical spots, he might take us to the opening mall for our shopping.”
Stamps have been a kidney dialysis patient for a couple of years, Lewis said. “His health wasn’t appropriate.”
That didn’t forestall the Southern connoisseur in him. Boiled peanuts, pork chops, turnip vegetables, his own homemade canned figs, Vienna sausage on crackers, bacon-and-tomato sandwiches on Bunny Bread — Stamps’ gastronomic pastimes study like a who is who of actual-life Southern classics.
“After he becomes diagnosed with diabetes, he told me, ‘Life’s not well worth dwelling if I cannot have butter on my sweet potatoes.’ That quite lots summed up his point of view on things,” Lewis stated.
He grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi, in which his father owned the Western Auto keep and was mayor of the small metropolis. When his father died when Stamps became 12, his aunts and cousins stepped in to help his mother, Wilma.