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13 Memorable Epitaphs

An epitaph—it’s usually the phrase written on a tombstone by which a person wants to be remembered. Many epitaphs are the ordinary, i.e., loving father, devoted wife, beloved sister, etc.

But some people really get creative—in positive and negative ways. Here are some samples:

  1. Merv Griffin, the TV talk show host, said simply, “I will not be right back after this message.”
  2. An unknown person: “Thanks for stopping by, however, unless you are a True Democrat and also believes in and supports the principals [sic] of Labor Unions, please make your visit brief.”
  3. Another political statement: “He never voted for Republicans and had little to do with them.”
  4. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield: “There goes the neighborhood.”¹
  5. John Yeast: “Here lies Johnny Yeast. Pardon me for not rising.”
  6. Jesse James the outlaw: “Murdered by a traitor and a coward whose name is not worthy to appear here.”
  7. From a Maryland Cemetery: “Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and no place to go.”
  8. Singer Hank Williams: “I’ll never get out of this world alive.”
  9. Winston Churchill: “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”²
  10. In a Georgia cemetery: “I told you I was sick.”
  11. A lawyer’s tombstone in England: “Sir John Strange. Here lies an honest man. And that is Strange.”
  12. Ann Mann: “Here lies Ann Mann, Who lived an old maid, But died an old Mann.”
  13. John Penny: “Reader if cash thou art, In want of any, Dig 4 feet deep, And thou wilt find a Penny.”³

So what will yours be?

¹Epitaths 1-4:
²Epitaths 5-9:
³Epitaths 10-13:

Related articles:
Reduce your Life to 15 Things?!
7 Lessons from the Obituaries
How a 9-Year-Old Boy Leaves a Legacy

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously: » Learn More

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