Who Deserves a Front-Page Obituary?

When I applied for the last of my three jobs at the Morning News (assistant editor for national and foreign news), I was given a list of famous people and asked if I would put their obituaries on Page 1A. There were no right or wrong answers; it was just a way for the bosses to gauge my news judgment. (The only name I clearly remember being on the list was Paris Hilton’s, and that’s because they asked me to explain my “yes.” My justification was that, given her age, her cause of death would likely be newsworthy.)

So, taking age out of the equation, which local luminaries do you think deserve to have their obits on the front page of Dallas’ Only Daily? For example, Wick’s a shoo-in. Tim might be destined for Page 1A as well; if a story about his daughter’s pre-K class landed there, shouldn’t the story of his entire life? Zac might make the Metro cover because of the mayoral run. Personally, I would put Wilonsky on 1A, but if anything blows up in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Israel on the day he dies, I have a feeling he’d be relegated to the Arts & Life cover. Those types of stories always seem to trump local news for some reason.

As for me, because I worked at the Morning News for the better part of a decade, I’m pretty much guaranteed to have a Joe Simnacher-penned story inside the Metro section, along with a blurb noting that the Texas flag at 508 Young St. will be flown at half-staff for a day in my honor. I’ve made sure my wife knows this, so she doesn’t pay for a classified obit when I die.

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