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.
Kathleen Dehmlow’s kids got the last word in a brutal death notice. https://t.co/sih9Si9Vjl
— HuffPost Weird News (@HuffPostWeird) June 5, 2018
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.
And the mystery behind Kathleen Dehmlow's obituary takes another turn.
— Lindsay Guentzel (@LindsayGuentzel) June 5, 2018
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.
#kathleenDehmlow obituary doesn’t hurt the mother. However, it now records for all posterity her children’s personality disorders, their grandparents’ failure to teach them manners, their crudeness, and the ill health they will suffer for holding such grudges. May God help them!
— Sally (@sallyipswitch) June 5, 2018
56 years ago, Kathleen Dehmlow double-dipped the family ink and ran off with her husband's brother. Yesterday, the children she abandoned penned her obit. Straight savagery: https://t.co/J9RQdYJmRJ
— Chris Pleasance (@chrispleasance) June 5, 2018
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.”