Newspaper apologizes for refusing to run obit with anti-Trump line

The obituaries editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal was just looking out for the danger posed to the nation by a dead 87-year-old woman who didn’t much care for the person who is president of the United States.

The family of Frances Irene Finley, who died in November, paid $1,684 for the death notice that mentioned her passing was hastened by her angst over the direction of the nation.

The newspaper refused to run the obit unless the passage was removed, which it was. Now the paper is apologizing, which is — literally — cold comfort.

The paper didn’t come by its conscience honestly. It wasn’t until Frances’ son, Art Williams, posted his complaint on Facebook earlier this month that the family got any attention from the the Courier-Journal.

I want to thank the nearly 80 friends on here who posted such supportive comments–and the well over 100 who reacted…

Posted by Art Williams on Sunday, January 13, 2019

“My mom would have been offended — and I hope you are too,” he wrote in the earlier post of the newspaper’s disinterest in free speech.

“Mrs. Williams’ obituary should have published as it was presented to our obits team and as requested by the family,” Richard Green, the Courier Journal’s editor, told a columnist at his paper.

“In this political climate we now find ourselves, partisanship should have no role in deciding what gets included in an obituary that captures a loved one’s life — especially one as amazing as what Mrs. Williams led. I’m certain she is missed greatly by those who loved her. We send the family our deepest condolences and apologies.”

There’s no mention of whether the paper is also sending the family $1,684, though there’s no indication that matters much.

“We think she would have been, as we used to say, ‘tickled pink’ by this all,” daughter Catherine Duff tells NBC News. “In her opinion, anything that got people talking about how they feel about Trump would have been a good thing.”

The paper published the correct obit three times this week:

Frances (Fran) Irene Finley Williams, 87, passed away peacefully at home on November 21, 2018. Fran was born in Cookeville, TN, on November 30, 1930, to the late Frank Lee Finley and Myrtle Ann (Deck) Finley. She married the love of her life, Bruce H. Williams, who survives her, on May 29th, 1949, and was a wonderful mother to Arthur (Art) Lee Williams (Noel Rueff) and Catherine (Cathy) Ann Williams Duff, who also survive her.

She adored her five grandchildren, Sydne (Stone) Goodier (Dan), Benjamin Rueff Williams (Sarah), Caroline (Stone) Waldner (Mitch), Emily Claire Williams (Charlie, June, 2019) and Laura (Stone) Cole (Jeremy), and her eight great grandchildren, William Chase Goodier, Blake Stone Goodier, Claire Isabel Goodier, Lucy Ann Waldner, Rosemary Catherine Cole, Cullen Rueff Williams, Bruce Michael Waldner, and Vivienne Frances Cole, who all survive her. Her sisters, Eunetta (Finley) Jenkins and Ann (Finley) Fields also survive her.

Fran was a member of the Keystone Sunday School Class at St. Matthews United Methodist Church, a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, an avid bridge player who always played to win, a passionate Democrat, a lover of dancing, fashion, babies, flowers, birds, dogs and cats, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson, and did not suffer fools gladly.

She was a die hard Louisville fan, loved thoroughbred racing and the occasional side bet, was a voracious reader, had an amazing memory and a passion to know everything about everything, all the time. She lovingly made and displayed dozens of photo albums, capturing the history of her family, who all called her Nana. Her passing was hastened by her continued frustration with the Trump administration.

Visitation and a memorial service were held at St. Matthews United Methodist Church on Friday, December 28th, 2018, with visitation from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM in the Upper Colonnade, with the service immediately following at 12:00 PM in the sanctuary. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the , or the Fecal Transplant Foundation. Please note that Frances requested and the family honored the following dress code for both the visitation and service: no blue jeans, shorts, flip flops or tennis shoes. Frances will be forever loved, missed, and remembered by those who loved her.

The newspaper’s columnist says obit editors have been clamping down on content since a blistering obit last year in the Redwood Falls Gazette.

(h/t: Chris Graves)