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Scathing obituary: Family writes insulting obituary for dead, abusive mother

An absolutely scathing obituary – lengthy and dripping with revengeful spite – was penned and allowed to be input into Nevada’s Reno Gazette Journal. The denunciatory obit was written by the children of Mariane Theresa Johnson-Reddick, who died on Aug. 13. Her children will remember her life as one spent “torturing” her family, reports The Associated Press via ABC News on Sept. 12.

After the incredibly malicious write-up went viral, the Reno Gazette removed the obituary from its online website, but the full text is still being carried by multiple media outlets.

The full obituary:

Marianne Theresa John­son-Reddick, born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Sept. 30, 2013. She is sur­vived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way pos­sible. While she neglected and abused her small chil­dren, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively ex­posed to her evil and vio­lent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after­life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviv­ing children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can re­vive our message that abus­ing children is unforgive­able, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “hu­mane society.” Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.

Very little is known about the woman her children said hated the “gentle or kind human spirit.” The AP report said the obituary was penned by Marianne’s daughter, 58-year-old psychology consultant Katherine Reddick, who along with her six brothers and sisters, was beaten by their mother.

The AP report says two of the Reddicks “decided to share the story of their painful physical and mental abuse… They said they grew up with four siblings in a Carson City orphanage after they were removed from their mother's home and had been estranged from her for more than 30 years.”

Son Patrick Reddick, who said he has received contact from people "all over the world" after the obituary ran, confirmed the physical abuse. Patrick endured regular and severe beatings, at times with a metal-tipped belt.

“Everything in there was completely true,” Patrick said of the obituary. He says his mother was a “wicked, wicked witch. The main purpose for putting it in there was to bring awareness to the child abuse. And shame her a little bit.”

Publisher of the Reno Gazette, John Maher, left a “note to readers” after the obituary was redacted, stating that the paper had “removed the online listing of this obituary as we continue our review of the circumstances surrounding its placement.”

What do you think of this? As an abuse survivor, I honestly appreciate the guts and the willingness to speak the truth, although I probably wouldn't have put the truth in a circulating newspaper. Still, I've heard a lot of sappy sweet bullshit said about seriously undeserving people at their funerals; the candor is refreshing.


Asked by Ballad at 1:04 PM on Sep. 13, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • the article i read said this ladies kids were the reason child abuse laws in Nevada came about in the 70s or 80s (cant remember which decade). so im sure this is a story local ppl already knew. if this obit & the stories surrounding it help even one abused child, i say bravo to them! in their minds they are trying to keep child abuse relevant and sadly we need that.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:21 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • It says she died alone on Sept. 30, 2013

    Are they sure she's dead?

    Answer by KTElite at 1:10 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • Interesting how this article doesn't bother to mention that the paper yanked the obituary after further review of the circumstances around it. Never use the Examiner for a news source, all it is is housewives and college kids paid by the click to get as many webhits as possible.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:02 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • I think....that i'd love to write a similar one for my own mother

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 1:21 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • You can not shame a dead woman. Airing the shame for every one to see ony hurts the living, In my opinion

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:26 AM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Sad all around.

    Answer by staciandababy at 1:09 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • While it is sad, they have the right to say what they want.
    Hopefully it helped them to let go of some pain.


    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 1:35 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • As a survivor of abuse both physical and mental/emotional from my own birth mother....I can understand where they are coming from. However, I've long forgiven my birth mother and have let her go because I needed too for my own sanity and sense of peace. I believe this may perpetuate the bitterness they hold inside.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:26 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • Wow! But I think they got the date of death wrong....It's not Sept. 30th yet??

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:10 PM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • Sad, when the whole family is a problem.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 1:30 PM on Sep. 13, 2013