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Scathing obituary goes viral, woman's son speaks against it

Cornelia June Rogers Miller passed away in February of 2017, but her recent obituary has gone viral, stirring up controversy in her family and online. (Image: Robert Miller)

FOLLOW-UP:

On Thursday, we reported that this obituary had been partly plagiarized from a 2008 obit notice that appeared in a San Francisco newspaper. Watch the update here.

PREVIOUSLY:

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.


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