The Man Who Wrote A Scathing Obituary For His Deceased Mother Explains Why He Did It

Kathleen Dehmlow's obituary was so unflattering that it made international news.

kathleen dehmlow's family was not kind in her obituary
Peter Cripps / Shutterstock

Kathleen Dehmlow's obituary was so unflattering that it made international news.

The family of Kathleen Dehmlow, the Minnesota woman whose obituary was so, shall we say, honest, that it made international headlines, is speaking out about why they aired their family’s dirty laundry in the most public way imaginable.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, most obituaries amount to glowing dissertations on the high points of the deceased’s life; or at the very least, they’re platitudes about the deceased’s career, their descendants, and so on. Not so for Kathleen Dehmlow. When she died, her surviving children instead chose to air her dirty laundry. The obituary pointed out her marital infidelity, claimed that she had abandoned her family, and broadly hinted that she was going to hell.

“She passed away on May 31, 2018… and will now face judgement.”

Needless to say, the obituary got international attention – and got itself deleted from obituary-hosting website Legacy.com.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, her son Jay Dehmalo, 58, explained why he and his sister, Gina, 60, took the more direct approach when publishing her obit in the Redwood Falls Gazette. The U.S. Army veteran and former professional boxer says that every word of it is true.

“You can’t believe the dysfunction of the family. They’ll never know what we went through but it helped us [to write this]. We wanted to finally get the last word.”

So complete was Dehmlow’s abandonment of her family, says Jay – which included getting pregnant by her brother-in-law – that Dehmalo changed his name in order to distance himself from his mom.

After Dehmlow abandoned her kids, says Jay, they were shuttled about from family to family before ultimately being taken in by relatives.

“You could write it all down in a book or turn it into a movie and people wouldn’t believe what we went through.”

As it turns out, however, not everyone thinks the scathing obituary is particularly funny. As mentioned above, Legacy.com deleted the obit, and the Redwood Falls Gazette, which published the obituary, disavowed it in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Kathleen’s surviving sister, Judy, said that the obituary was “nasty” and “hurt the family.”

“Why do people want to talk about it? It’s not important.”

Reaction on social media has been equally mixed.

Of course, Ms. Dehmlow isn’t available to give her side of the story.

Controversy aside, Jay and Gina don’t regret what they wrote.

“We knew there would be backlash but it really has helped us to finally get the last word.”