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Sunrise Senior College Online Course Registration

It’s Your Story; Write Your Own Obituary

with Sharon Kessler & Michael Dorsher


An obituary can be light hearted and enjoyable to read.  It’s meant to remind people of all the pleasant memories your friends and family shared with you.  When it is read, your wish should be for people to think back on what you meant in their lives.  Good thoughts and good memories are all we can leave to those who will miss us and think about us on occasion.         

Here is your opportunity to absolutely have the last word.  In death, as in life, sometimes the best defense is a good offense and that's why you should write your own obituary.  Otherwise, your memory might be cast by someone who doesn't remember you much -- or well!  Before it's too late, why not take the time to reflect on the memorable moments and people that meant so much to you in your life, then leave a written keepsake?  A good "obit" brings its subject back to life in the minds of readers, so this is your chance to live forever in their thoughts!  Your instructors are a married couple who edited obituaries for the Washington Post, have taken and taught obituary-writing classes and have written obits for their parents -- plus themselves!

Our two-session class with Sharon and Michael will provide you with light-hearted, valuable tips and insights on how to create your own obituary.  Upon passing, this task is often left to people in great distress and can be just another item that, in haste, must get checked off the list of things to do.  Just as you would prepare your will or estate plan and decide how your final wishes should be carried out so as reduce the stress of loved ones having to make these important decisions, it just makes sense for each of us to take a few moments and make sure that what is written is something you would like.      

Instructors:  Sharon Kessler, BA, MPA, was inspired —like many others of her generation — to be journalist because of Watergate. After a start in radio and TV news, she worked in print journalism as a copy editor at the Wisconsin State Journal, the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The “Obit Shift” at the Post was an education in the art and craft of obituaries and planted a lifelong interest in and appreciation of obits long and short.

Michael Dorsher Ph.D., wrote and edited obituaries for United Press International, the Bismarck Tribune, the Wisconsin State Journal and He taught obituary writing – and every other facet of journalism -- to a generation of students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. He has written published obituaries for family and friends.

Class Information:  This is a hybrid class - held in-person in UM@M’s room Science 102 and via Zoom.

  • Please Note that due to a scheduling conflict, there has been a change in the dates and times of the class.

All facilities at the University of Maine at Machias (UM@M) are fully handicap compliant.  The facilities used by Sunrise Senior College (SSC) at the college have ramps, elevators and handicap accessible bathrooms.  Our offsite functions and activities have various limitations and restrictions and may not be fully handicap accessible.  SSC will endeavor to identify limitations at these to you in advance.


                                                     IMPORTANT:  See Below

This class is available to all current Maine Senior College (MSCN) Members. The general public not wishing to join Sunrise Senior College at this time may attend this class for a $20.00 fee.

Important, if you are not currently a current member of Sunrise Senior College (SSC) but are planning on joining SSC as a member today.  Make sure you answer that “Your SSC membership is current” when checking out so the we can properly bill you for this class. 

Sunrise Senior College (SSC) is a membership-based organization. Our SSC members receive special benefits as current members when they register for this course. Any member of another MSCN college is also able to enjoy this course, but may occur some additional charges. If you are a member of the general public, you can take this course but will have to pay additional fees associated with being a non-member. For any attendee that is not a current member of Sunrise Senior College, any materials required for the course are your responsibility. When checking out, please carefully read and answer the questions asked associated with this specific course so that you are charged appropriately for this class. Failure to do this may result in your being cancelled from the course. We hope you enjoy this offering.

  • Feb 28 - Mar 6th, 2024
    Wed for 2 weeks from 2:30 - 4:00 pm

    Will run

Umm Science 102 & via Zoom

For directions, call us at (207) 255-1384

Location map for Umm Science 102 & via Zoom

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