After a long battle with lung cancer, Richmond, Virginia resident Mary Anne Noland passed away on Sunday. She was 68 years old, and she’s survived by her husband, Jim, a sister, two brothers, three sons, and 10 grandchildren. Yet according to the opening line of her obituary, which was published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Tuesday, May 17, Mary Anne will always be remembered by the internet as the woman who died because she didn’t want to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton,” the first sentence of the 225-word entry reads, “Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.”
This isn’t the first time that an obituary has gone viral for its reference to the current election cycle. Last year, deceased residents from North Carolina and New Jersey politely requested that readers refrain from voting for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. Both instances were seen as serious, yet Nolan’s dual jab at Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump were not.
In fact, according to local ABC affiliate WTVM, the opening line wasn’t even written by Nolan or demanded by her will. Instead, it was a joke penned by one of Mary Anne and Jim’s sons:
The line wasn’t meant as a parting shot at either presidential candidate, Noland says. Rather it was a joke and way for Mary Anne’s children to carry on her sense of humor.
To be fair, it’s a pretty good joke. And if Mary Anne and her family were as funny together as Jim suggests, then it seems totally appropriate for the current context.
Neither Clinton nor Trump have responded, officially or otherwise, to the viral story about Mary Anne Nolan’s obituary. Hopefully neither of them will — especially if the latter gets his Twitter account back from those pesky interns.