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'Scathing' obituary goes viral, describes abusive, 'violent' mother

The late Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick was not remembered kindly by her children, who described her as "evil and violent" in an obituary.
Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Sept. 12, 2013 at 8:19 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The Reno Gazette-Journal has pulled a "scathing" obituary of Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, after discovering that it described her as an abusive woman who led an "evil and violent life."

"We celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children," the obituary reads.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgivable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a "humane society."

Johnson-Reddick, 78, had bladder cancer when she died in a Reno nursing home last month. She was hospitalized as a ward of the state last May.

Katherine and Patrick Reddick, two of Johnson-Reddick's children, told the Gazette Journal decided to write the brutal missive to highlight the issue of child abuse.

“People may see this as something we did to shame our mother,” Patrick said. “But this is to bring shame to the issue of child abuse. I want every single person to realize this could be your obituary.”

“We were constantly physically, mentally abused even after being taken away and put in the children’s home,” he said during public testimony in the Nevada legislature in 1987.

Several of Reddick's children spent years in foster care and an orphanage. Katherine said she "slept on floors of places where her mother ran escort businesses."

Gazette-Journal publisher John F. Maher said in a statement to Gawker that the anonymous writer "submitted" the obit to the paper's "self-service, online portal."

"From the text of the obituary, it is clear that the date of death is inaccurate," Maher added. "The Washoe County Public Guardian’s office has confirmed that Marianne Theresa Johnson did, indeed, recently pass away."

"We've removed the online listing of this obituary as we continue our review of the circumstances surrounding its placement," Maher said. "Once we've completed our review, we'll determine what, if any, further actions are required."

Though Johnson-Reddick's less-than-flattering obituary has been taken down, you can read the full text below:

Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a "humane society." Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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