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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Man dies on way to wife’s memorial service

Man and wife buried togetherA not-so-funny thing happened to an upstate New York man on his way to his wife’s wake: He died.

Reuters reports that Norman Hendrickson, 94, a retired assistant postmaster in an Albany suburb, stopped breathing in the limousine on the way to a wake for his late wife Gwen.

A dual funeral service was held yesterday to cap off the 66-year marriage. Mrs. Hendrickson, who died earlier in the month after suffering for years with Parkinson’s, had been cremated. An urn containing her remains was buried in a plot alongside that of her husband.

The couple’s daughter Merrilyne posted a light-hearted sign for arriving mourners that read, “Surprise — it’s a Double-Header — Norman and Gwen Hendrickson —February 16, 2013.”

Funeral director Elizabeth Nichols-Ross, a family friend, is quoted as saying that the couple laughed a lot and would have enjoyed the irony of the situation. She also quipped that Norman Hendrickson, who was known to be thrifty, would have been pleased at saving the costs of a second funeral by stepping off when he did.

Although the chances of dying on the way to a funeral are likely remote, it has happened before. In 2011, Dawn Gibson of Wellington, New Zealand, was killed in a head-on traffic collision on her way to a friend’s funeral.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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