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Gay son pens hilarious 'catty' obituary for his mom, a 'frivolous, funny and smart Jewish redhead'

'Hers was an itinerant, much-lived life, a Yankee Florida liberal Jewish Tough Gal who bowled 'em in Japan, rolled 'em in North Carolina and was a singularly unique parent.'

Gay son pens hilarious 'catty' obituary for his mom, a 'frivolous, funny and smart Jewish redhead'
Cover Image Source: Fayetteville Observer

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 20, 2021. It has since been updated.

When crafting his late mother's obituary, Andy Corren of New York City clearly wanted to do justice to her "itinerant, much-lived life." This is very evident from his 996-word tribute to 84-year-old Renay Mandel Corren. His humorous reflection on her boisterous life leaves one with deep admiration and awe of "the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redn*ck American family." Published in the Fayetteville Observer following Renay's death on December 11, 2021, the obituary reads: "A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday. Of itself hardly news, or good news if you're the type that subscribes to the notion that anybody not named you dying in El Paso, Texas is good news."


"In which case have I got news for you: the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it. This was not good news to Renay Mandel Corren's many surviving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, many of whom she even knew and, in her own way, loved," it continues. "There will be much mourning in the many glamorous locales she went bankrupt in: McKeesport, PA, Renay's birthplace and where she first fell in love with ham, and atheism; Fayetteville and Kill Devil Hills, NC, where Renay's dreams, credit rating and marriage are all buried; and of course Miami, FL, where Renay's parents, uncles, aunts, and eternal hopes of all Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, are all buried pretty deep."


"Because she was my mother, the death of zaftig good-time gal Renay Corren at the impossible old age of 84 is newsworthy to me, and I treat it with the same respect and reverence she had for, well, nothing," Corren wrote. "A more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found. Hers was an itinerant, much-lived life, a Yankee Florida liberal Jewish Tough Gal who bowled 'em in Japan, rolled 'em in North Carolina and was a singularly unique parent."


And if his words gave off any misleading impression that Renay was a "model stay at home parent," Andy quickly put that to rest. "Renay - Rosie to her friends, and this was a broad who never met a stranger - worked double shifts with Doreen, ate a ton of carbs with Bernie, and could occasionally be stirred to stew some stuffed cabbage for the kids," he shared. "Hers was a bawdy, rowdy life lived large, broke and loud. We thought Renay could not be killed. God knows, people tried. A lot. Renay has been toying with death for decades, but always beating it and running off in her silver Chevy Nova. Covid couldn't kill Renay. Neither could pneumonia twice, infections, blood clots, bad feet, breast cancer twice, two mastectomies, two recessions, multiple bankruptcies, marriage to a philandering Sergeant Major, divorce in the 70's, six kids, one cesarean, a few abortions from the Quietly Famous Abortionist of Spring Lake, NC or an affair with Larry King in the 60's."


Corren—who described himself as Renay's "favorite son, the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time"—concluded his now-viral tribute with details of a memorial service. "There will be a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial on May 10, 2022, most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, NC. The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none whatsoever, and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a 1-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance, he wrote. "She spent it all, folks. She left me nothing but these lousy memories. Which I, and my family of 5 brothers and my sister-in-laws, nephews, friends, nieces, neighbors, ex-boyfriends, Larry King's children, who I guess I might be one of, the total strangers who all, to a person, loved and will cherish her. Forever. Please think of the brightly-frocked, frivolous, funny and smart Jewish redhead who is about to grift you, tell you a filthy joke, and for Larry King's sake: LAUGH. Bye, Mommy. We loved you to bits."


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