Inside Knox TN Today: Obituaries

Sandra ClarkFeature, West Knoxville

Kathy Joy, my friend and a true go-getter, once said a key to business success is to “zig when others zag.” Watch your competitors and zig the other way.

Our treatment of obituaries is a major difference between and the daily paper. The other guys first reduced the obituary column width while increasing the cost. Then somebody moved the processing to an out-of-town call center and imposed an early deadline. Lately, the paper has increased the column width and stopped listing obits in alphabetical order.

It’s no wonder their obituary section continues to shrink.

The difference:

Our list of obituary links is updated daily as a public service, without charge to families or funeral homes.

Our list is sorted by county (we cover nine). Click on a name and go directly to that person’s obituary on the mortuary’s website. We work nights and weekends, ensuring that every posted obituary is included in the list available to readers with their morning coffee.

By linking to the mortuary websites, we minimize typos. By not charging, we’ve got a comprehensive list. has posted over 12,500 unique obituary links since we started this in 2018.

Also, most days there’s a featured obituary – someone I knew or wish I had known based on reading their obituary. My friends wonder why I spend an hour a day typing obit links. The answer is part philosophy and part “zig.”

Readers deserve respect – for your time (make it simple and write it fast) and for your good sense (list those who died, not those whose family bought an ad).

Stay tuned. Someday I’ll tell you how I feel about paywalls and pop-up ads.

  • Wanda Moody was matter-of-fact when the city named an overpass for her at the request of Tim Burchett. Moody is an underrated leader, having come along at a time when women were not expected to lead. But the women who now hold office are standing on her shoulders and they know it. That’s why so many of them were at the ceremony.
  • Madeline Rogero is reading She came over at the Moody ceremony to dispute my observation that on the Recode Knoxville vote she was riding herd on city council like the Rawhide TV cowpokes wrangled their cattle toward their slaughter. “It’s more that I guided them toward green pastures,” she said. OK.

Sandra Clark writes this personal blog about the challenges of starting a website after a career in newspapers.

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