Savannah obit goes viral, TV show in the works

8:06 AM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- William "Freddie" McCullough didn't conform during his life, nor did his colorful obituary that has gotten the attention of hundreds of thousands of people. The death notice, packed with detail and humor, was written by his son for the Savannah Morning News on Saturday and has since gone viral.

According to the obituary written by Mark McCullough, "Freddie loved deep fried Southern food covered in Cane Syrup, fishing at Santee Cooper Lake, Little Debbie Cakes, Two and a Half Men, beautiful women, Reese's Cups and Jim Beam." And, "Not necessarily in that order."

The Savannah paper reports that Mark, who is filmmaker, writer, director and producer, prepared himself to write about his dad by reading 50 or so obituaries, most of them listing schools attended, awards received and illnesses battled. They served as a lesson in what not to write, the paper says.

"Our dad was a unique and special guy" said McCullough, the oldest of six kids. "I wanted to do things differently to honor him with an obit that fit him."

McCullough, who recently moved back to the Savannah area from Los Angeles, is executive producer for Fort Argyle Films. He's developing a TV show based on his dad's "life's adventures," but is dismissive of praise he's received for writing about his father, the Savannah paper reports.

"I can't take credit," he said. "I just wrote down what happened."

The obituary says McCullough hated vegetables and hypocrites.

It also says, "Freddie adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn't enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie's past. There isn't enough space in the Bloomingdale phone book ... He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy's. He got married when he was 18 but it didn't last. Freddie was no quitter, however, so he gave it a shot two more times."

The Savannah paper says that the funeral on Thursday, McCullough's children tucked Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a bottle of Jim Beam into his coffin. Then the six of them, clad in Harley T-shirts and jeans, hopped on motorcycles to lead the procession to the cemetery.

"All of us kids, we know our dad," Mark McCullough said. "He was the kind of guy who would just get the biggest thrill out of this."

Mark McCullough didn't include his dad's cause of death in the obituary, but did tell the Savannah paper he'd been ill for months.

Wrote McCullough in the notice, "Freddie was killed when he rushed into a burning orphanage to save a group of adorable children. Or maybe not. We all know how he liked to tell stories."

Click here to read the entire obituary notice.

(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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