Harry Weathersby Stamps drank buttermilk from a martini glass garnished with cornbread. And as the Sun Herald reports, that’s just one of the many eccentric details included in a loving and entertaining obituary written by his daughter that has gone viral across social media.
"I kept thinking of things—there are a lot of things I just couldn't put in there—and I thought, 'Mama's not going to let me run that.' But she read it and said, 'That's him,'" daughter Amanda Lewis told the Sun Herald.
The obituary, which appeared in Monday’s edition of the Sun Herald, included several memorable passages, including the following:
"Harry excelled at ... living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. ... His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam's on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees."
Stamps was a teacher of government and sociology at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis campus. Former students told the paper their beloved professor was a member in a bacon-of-the-month club, referred to daylight saving time as “the devil’s time," and crowed like a rooster during phone calls with his grandchildren.
The obit has been described by the paper as “perhaps the most entertaining, warm and enlightening obituary seen in years.”
Another passage written by Lewis described her father’s unusual love of food:
“Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life.”
His other daughter, Allison, said her father’s love of food stayed with him throughout his life, even as he struggled with a number of health issues.
"After he was diagnosed with diabetes, he told me, 'Life's not worth living if I can't have butter on my sweet potatoes.' That pretty much summed up his point of view on things," she said.
And in the hours since the 80-year-old’s life story was put to print, it has taken off across the Internet, appearing on thousands of Facbeook pages and being chronicled by news outlets across the Web.
"He wouldn't know what going viral means. He would have thought that was a disease he contracted, which would have excited him to have another illness to lord over folks," Lewis told the Herald. "Probably the best compliment I've gotten is that at least six people asked if he wrote it."
And it wasn’t lost on Lewis that her father passed away on this year’s spring forward to daylight saving time, referring to it as her father’s “last act of protest.” In fact, closing out the obituary, she writes:
“Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord's Time. “