First generation U.S. citizen of German and English parents; my relatives, living and deceased, are scattered across the globe. Like many of you, I joined FaG after finding a relative's memorial entered by another volunteer and this is my way of paying it forward since 17 Sep 2016.
"No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment – until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence."
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
A newspaper or funeral home obituary is NOT a biography. Memorial managers are not obligated to turn FaG into a repository of plagiarized obituaries. Please do not ask me to paste an unedited obituary into the bio field. It will not happen.
Obituary information will be added to the bio section ONLY after it has been carefully edited to remove incorrect language and irrelevant information. There's no such thing as the "Airforce," "Marine Corp," or a "sargent." No one has brother-in-laws or sister-in-laws. No one is proceeded (wrong word) or is (wrong tense) preceded in death; they were already preceded in death or predeceased by those who had passed before them. The bio field doesn't need to include birth/death/location data already entered in other fields. A BIOGRAPHY doesn't include where flowers or donations are to be directed, who is officiating the funeral, when the visitation will occur, personal medical information such as dementia or cancer, or that masks and social distancing are required. Consider if including non-biographical information, poor grammar, and obvious misspellings truly honors the individual in the record you create.
Family members, deceased and living, will be listed. The family has already approved this information to be visible to the world in a published Internet obituary. The censoring of family name information hampers those who research family connections and will be attempting to make future linkages. Those who claim to be protecting the privacy of families or from identity theft apparently don't understand that obituary information is readily available now to would-be bad actors, but may not be years from now to Find A Grave contributors and families.
Verifiable suggested edits and corrections are appreciated - collaboration is key. If the information is novel, the contributor will usually be credited as the source in the bio section. Reasonable memorial transfer requests from family and close friends are always honored, but please use the Suggest Edits button instead of the message feature.
For those who decline verifiable edits and then make the edits manually, you only get one opportunity. Repeat behavior gets you on a list; future declined suggestions are documented with a screenshot and get reported. This petty practice defeats the whole purpose of this collaborative process and adds unnecessary drama.
Edits to connect to memorials with a disposition of "burial unknown" will be declined. If more than 10% of your contributions are "burial unknowns" you probably need to re-read Find A Grave's mission statement (See Goal).
Thanks for reading. You might consider a visit to this memorial. Without the efforts of this gentleman, some would argue that life would not be worth living.
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