Obituary Collector Part of a Well-Known Book

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

From baseball cards, to playing sports, to collecting all types of memorabilia, there are a lot of hobbies you can have.

But what about collecting obituaries?

"I'll find myself reading them for an hour. It's hard to put them back down," said Charles Hasley, a Bowling Green resident.

"It's one of my hobbies," he added.

Hasley has been collecting obituaries since he was 14-years old.

"At that time we used to put newspapers in our dresser drawers and I was changing them that year and one I found from the year before was Max Baer, who was a heavyweight champion of the world at one time. I thought that one shouldn't be thrown away," Hasley explained.

He now has thousands of obituaries of well-known people.

"John Kennedy, Elvis Presley, John Lennon. Those are probably the people saved most, but I saved the others," Hasley continued.

He remembers on this day, 30 years ago, the moment that had everyone all shook up. Elvis Presley had died.

"It didn't sink in. I couldn't believe he was dead. So I called home and it was all over the television. That night, I ran down and bought all the newspapers," he admitted.

This hobby has even landed Hasley in the 2008 Ripley's Believe It or Not book called "The Remarkable Revealed."

It's a hobby he said may sound strange to you, but to him it's a way to hold on to the life of some of the most well-known people of the world.

"I've thought about quitting and I can't. It's not something I can quit, and I hope when it gets to be 50 years, I can give it all to Ripley's. Hopefully they would want it and appreciate it as I have," Hasley said.

He has been collecting the obituaries of famous people, like Elvis, for 47 years now.

As for the Ripley's Believe it or Not book he's in, it came out in bookstores last week.


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