The Goshen News is the local paper of the Elkhart and LaGrange County area. The obituaries in the newspaper are a testament to the lives of the people that have lived, laughed, loved, and sometimes cried in our towns. We all know someone who has died from cancer or natural causes and their life story appears as an obituary in the paper. This blog post will explore how obituaries can be used for research purposes by examining some examples from the Goshen News archives.
Goshen News Obituary:
John Edward Bradbury, Jr. Born in the Year of our Lord 1943 – Died in the year 2000 at the age of 58 years old; he lived a full life and will be sorely missed by his family and friends. Survived by the love of his life, the former Kathy Bates; mother Ruby Bradbury and father John Edward Bradbury Sr.; children Keith (Lori) and Kimmie Lynn (Mark); sister Linda Lydia Moore. John was the son of the late John and Ruby Bradbury.
John Edward Bradbury, Jr.’s obituary is a snapshot into his life but there are many details that could be unpacked to learn more about the man behind the words “died in the year 2000 at the age of 58 years old.” For example, Kathy Bates is the name of the love of his life. Linda Moore is the sister that he will be dearly missed by.
Keith and Kimmie Bradbury are the children who survive him, but what about Mark? And this leaves Ruby, John Edward Sr., and the late John as those missing from the details in his obituary. To get to the bottom of the story, you have to look at the context and the relationships.
Could John Edward Bradbury Jr.’s obituary be all about him? His children’s names are included but Ruby is not there. And isn’t Linda Moore his sister too? If the purpose of an obituary is to pay tribute then this one is incomplete.
If the purpose of an obituary is to highlight the deceased’s children, then this one misses that mark too.
There are two versions of the Goshen News obituaries – the long and short forms. The long form can be found in the index with John Edward Bradbury Jr.’s name highlighted while the short form can be found on the second page of the same index.
The obituaries is the most sacred of all the writings. It is the last chance to pay tribute, the final word before the casket closes for the last time. Obituaries are not just about a person’s death – they’re also about their life and how that life intersects with ours when we read them on paper or the screen.
The long form is the most detailed, the short the least so and both have their problems. The Goshen News obituaries are not without issues but they do serve a crucial purpose: to pay tribute by telling the life story of the departed in an engaging way.
When I first started reading these stories it felt like navigating the world’s largest library. I would start with the A-Z and then go to the year, the month and finally the day when the person died. Sometimes it was hard not to get lost in a sea of black type on white pages but eventually my eyes became attuned to what mattered most: an individual life coming to its end.
The Goshen News obituaries are the memories of the deceased. They tell the story of who they were and what was important to them in their final days, exposing all that is good or problematic about our society.
In the pre-digital age, these stories would be written by a person at the Goshen News newspaper office with the information the family provided to the newspaper. The reporters would then take the time to write the story, update it until the funeral was completed and generate a condolence card for the family’s use at the funeral service.
Today these stories are still written by Goshen News staff but there is no more man-power required in keeping up with the the funeral service.
Instead the Goshen News obituaries are published on the newspaper’s social media account, updated with a photograph that was provided by the family and brief updates as to what is happening at the funeral.
The Goshen News still maintains contact with families throughout the process of publishing an obituary but for those who have the ability to update the account, the process is much more simplified.
This content has the following goals:
Provide an overview of the Goshen News obituaries over time and how they have changed with technology in order for the task at hand which was creating a blog post about them.
To also summarize what the Goshen News obituaries are and the purpose of them.
To talk about the importance of the Goshen News obituaries, both as a way to keep up with the funeral service but also for the families who have lost family members.
To summarize what has happened to the Goshen News over time in regards to the obituaries and the process of creating them.
The Goshen News is a newspaper in the United States which publishes local, state, national and international news as well as classified ads for the readers to peruse. The obituary section has been around since the very first issue published on December 11th 1879 but the content was not the same as the current obituaries.
The Goshen News has changed the format and process over the years to try to be more efficient, cost effective and modernized for the readership of the paper.
The purpose is not only to keep up with the funeral service but also for the families who have lost family members. It is the first time the family has heard that their loved one had passed away and they are given the opportunity to say goodbye.
There is a charge for the obituary but it varies on how much the Goshen News can do with the information supplied by the families. In 1990, there was an increase in expenses so the cost of the the obituary increased.
The Goshen News is the first to announce the death of a loved one and it fulfills the necessary requirements for funeral service providers as well.
The goal was always about informing the people who needed to know but also making sure that there wasn’t any confusion over whether or not they should be preparing the funeral or the burial
The Goshen News still prints the obituaries in the newspaper and on the special section of their website. They also have a payphone that people can call to hear an audio recording by using the numbers from this site:
The purpose is for them to be able to continue saying goodbye, which has been the tradition for the past 80 years.
The Goshen News has been providing obituaries to the people of the community since 1928, but the paper’s dedication to the service hasn’t always been as strong. The death rate and the rise in expenses have caused a crease in their profits so that the cost of an obituary increased the the point where they were only printing the obituaries in the paper.
The Goshen News is hopeful that this new model will help their business and the community as well because it allows people to say goodbye by providing an opportunity for them to honor the person who has passed on.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief exploration into the Goshen News obituaries as much as I have. If you are looking for a project to do with your family, consider searching through the archives of The Goshen News and see what kind of interesting stories or details about life in our community that you can find there. These glimpses into the lives of people who have lived here before us might help bring some meaning back to living in an often noisy world where we tend to take each day for granted.