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Scathing obituary about great-grandmother goes viral: 'Her presence will not be missed by many'


Obituaries are published in newspapers every day, but you've probably never read one like the one you're about to read.
Friday, the Cherokee Scout in Murphy, North Carolina posted an obituary for Cornelia June Rogers Miller.
She lived in Florida, but had a summer home in Murphy - a small town where the views are breathtaking.
June and her husband visited often.
"Once my father retired, they would go up to Murphy pretty much whenever they liked to. They would go for a weekend in the winter," said Robert Miller, June's oldest son.
Miller says it wasn't until last year that his father had to sell the summer home in Murphy. It was becoming too much for the couple to make the drive from Florida.
Eventually, they both ended up in an assisted living facility.
"He was actually her roommate at the facility," Miller told NewsChannel 9.
According to the obituary in the Cherokee Scout, June died in February.
"She was 82 years old, I believe, so she had a variety of complications," Miller explained when we asked how she passed.
It wasn't until last week though, nearly four months after her death, that the obituary showed up in the paper.
Part of it reads: "There will be no service, no prayers, and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart."
We sent it to June's son.
"The whole thing is just sad," Miller said.
It most obituaries, you find a message honoring a person's life. That's not the case here.
Another part read: "Drugs were a major love in her life as June had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life."
It goes on to say: "We speak for the majority of the family when we say her presence will not be missed by many."
As we showed the obit to people in Murphy, they couldn't believe it. "Yeah, it's disturbing," said one man.
So, who wrote the obituary about June? We still don't know.
But, June's son Robert has an idea.
"It's unbelievable that my sisters would write this," he said.
We tracked down one of his sisters, but she says she didn't write it either.


She called the obituary very tragic and very sad.
"It's really sad that they don't have anything better to do," Miller added.
Robert just hopes the memories his father and mother shared in Murphy won't ever be forgotten, and wants his mother to be remembered as a loving, generous woman.
Miller tells us he sent a new obit to the paper that will run next week.
We wanted to know if the Cherokee Scout considered rejecting the obituary. When we asked, publisher David Brown said, "the family's will overrode the editor."
Brown told us the paper does look through each obituary and they feel they should only edit something if there is a very compelling reason to do so.
Brown wouldn't say who sent the original obituary in.

You can read the entire obituary here.



Shocking sections from a scathing Murphy, North Carolina obituary were plagiarized.
"When I first read it, I had a weird suspicion that it didn't sound like her," said Robert Miller, June Miller's son.
Miller says he didn't write the obituary about his mother. He says his sister did.
The publisher of the Cherokee Scout still won't confirm that information with us.
"Unbelievable. [She] doesn't even have the integrity to write something for herself - just goes out and steals something," said Miller about his sister.
After airing the story Monday on NewsChannel 9, a viewer alerted us that parts of the obit had sparked controversy before.

So, we began to track it down and it didn't take long before we found those allegations to be true.
In 2008, the obituary for Dolores Aguilar ran in the Vallejo Times Herald in California.
During that time, Ted Vollmer was the editor of that paper.
"I had edited probably thousands of obituaries up to that point and had written a lot myself and when this one came in, my eyebrows shot up," Vollmer said.
There are many similarities between Aguilar and Miller's obituaries.
One line reads: There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. There are many other similar lines.
Vollmer said he questioned the words in the obit right away, and asked Dolores' daughter to provide something to show the words written were true.
"I asked her for a copy of the death certificate or some proof of who she was," added Vollmer.
In June's case, it doesn't sound like this type of verification ever happened from the publisher at the Scout.
Publisher David Brown told NewsChannel 9 they haven't pulled the obituary yet from the paper or from their online site, but it's something they're definitely considering.
Vollmer said he allowed Dolores' granddaughter to add a new obituary because she didn't see her grandmother in that way.
We're told that's going to happen in the Cherokee Scout, too. Robert Miller told NewsChannel 9 he sent a new obit to the publisher Thursday morning and wasn't charged to publish it.
You can read the original obituary for Dolores Aguilar from the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum here:





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