Son who wrote spiteful obituary about late mother breaks silence

Son who wrote spiteful obituary about late mother breaks silence

THE MAN who wrote a cutting obituary about his late mother suggesting the "world is a much better place without her" has defended his actions.

Kathleen Dehmlow's obituary was published in the Redwood Falls Gazette after it was initially rejected by another local newspaper.

It states that Dehmlow married her first husband in 1957 and that they had two children together, named Gina and Jay.

The obituary goes on to note that five years later, Kathleen had an affair with her husband's brother, Lyle, and "abandoned" her children in 1962 to move to California with him.

"She passed away on May 31, 2018, in Springfield and will now face judgment," the obituary states.


"She will not be missed by Gina and Jay, and they understand that this world is a better place without her."

Though the obituary was later taken down from the Redwood Falls Gazette website, by then it had already been shared by users on Twitter.

And speaking to the Daily Mail, Jay Dehmlow, the man behind the obituary, defended it, stating that he and his sister "wanted to finally get the last word".

"You could write it all down in a book or turn it into a movie and people wouldn't believe what we went through," he said.

Growing Up

An Army veteran and former boxer, Jay and his sister Gina were taken in by their grandparents Gertrude and Joseph Schunk after their mother became pregnant by Lyle.


The pair were left in the dark about much of their mother's life from then on and only discovered they had two half-brothers from Kathleen's relationship with Lyle, years after their births.

As he puts it to the Mail, while they were left abandoned and unhappy in Minnesota, their mother was,"off having a great life in California with her other kids".

"We didn't have so much as a card from her. I remember she came home twice and on one occasion she was showing pictures of her and her kids playing cards, drinking beers…

"Gina and I were standing in the room, just standing there and she didn't even acknowledge us. It's like we didn't exist.

"How can you do that to your own children?"

It was Gina who hit upon the idea of the obituary after her cousin revealed their mother was on her deathbed.

Jay penned the copy while Gina requested that it be published alongside a picture of Kathleen.



The obituary came as a shock to Jay's friends.

"I've got calls from buddies who've said, "We didn't know she'd left you. We thought she'd died in a car crash or something," he told the Mail.

It's not gone down well with everyone in the family though, especially Kathleen's sister Judy, who branded it "nasty" adding that it "hurt the family tremendously".

Kathleen had returned to Minnesota after Lyle died in 2008. Her ex-husband and Jay's father Dennis, died in 2016.

Despite the reaction to the obituary, Jay argued: "it really has helped us to finally get the last word".