by Shannon Lee
I chose a Star Tribune news obituary about North Minneapolis community activist Major Topps. The lead was pretty standard, but age was not included until the second paragraph along with cause of death.
Instead of jumping into the claim to fame section, the writer addressed issues surrounding Topps' death. This was probably done because it was current newsworthy information relevant to his death.
The claim to fame section made up the majority of the obituary. This section included a quote from Topps' son and a quote from state Rep. Keith Ellison. It also referenced material used from a previous interview with Topps. It provided readers with information about his most notable accomplishments without giving every detail.
The chronology section was very short and just let readers know that he moved to Minneapolis from Detroit in the 1970s. There was no date of birth or information about his family, other than an earlier quote from his son. There was not even a "survived by" section at the end.
I thought it was kind of strange that there was no information about Topps' personal education since he was best known for being an education activist. This, and the absence of many dates, made his obituary different from a resume because it focused on his personal impact on the community rather than his work and education history.
Obituary analysis from Star Tribune article
by Shannon Lee