Is that they try to slip in these little personal touches. A list of accomplishments is one thing, but when they toss in quirky details, you get the sense that they’re trying to paint a portrait without really having the subject in focus.
I grew up across the street from Shaun O’Brien and Cris Alexander. Shaun died on February 27th; Cris followed on March 7th. They were together for 61 years. We’d visit them every Christmas, cookies in hand, and they’d serve us sherry and tell the same amazing stories over and over again. The Times tries, it really does. But it doesn’t even come close. I’ve written a few obituaries myself; I know that I couldn’t do any better.
[“I loved every minute of it,” he recalled in a 1979 interview with The Times. “They had to get out the hook and lower the curtain, because I refused to leave the stage.”]
[“Mr. Alexander, who left no immediate survivors, had lived with Mr. O’Brien in Saratoga Springs since 1993. Each afternoon at 4:30 they had an ice cream party.”]