Arts & Culture

Unforgettable Southern Epitaphs

Memorable grave sayings from cemeteries around the South

Southerners take their dying like they take their living—with equal parts respect and humor. An epitaph chiseled into stone is a concrete way to have a poignant or funny final word. The new book, Epitaphs: A Dying Art edited by Samuel Fanous, is full of excellent examples. It inspired us to dig around (pardon the pun) on to gather these memorable, grave sayings from cemeteries across the South. Share your favorites with us, as well.


“See, I Told You I Was Sick. 
P.S. I Knew This Would Happen.
I Just Didn’t Know It Would Happen So Soon.”
Jackie Lee Asque
April 10, 1919-March 4, 1983
Garden of Memories Cemetery, Lufkin, Texas


“Adverse To The Plow.
Prone To The Fiddle And Jug”
Thomas M. Morrissey
May 4, 1929-March 14, 1985
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi


“I Made A Lot Of Good Deals In My Life
But I Really Went In The Hole On This One.”
William Horton Leach
May 16, 1920-September 16, 1993
Oakwood Cemetery Annex, Austin, Texas


“He Never Killed a Man That Did Not Need Killing”
Robert Clay Allison
September 2, 1840-July 3, 1887
Pecos, Texas


“I’m Just Resting My Eyes”
Gloria Medeline Roberts Russell
May 22, 1926-December 27, 2000
Key West Cemetery, Florida


“Three Children On The North Side, One On The South”
Rhoda Isabella Flippin Dunn
Fraim Cemetery, Flippin, Kentucky
August 18, 1826-September 17, 1863


“My Loss, But Your Gain”
Joel Dermid
August 11, 1866-February 20, 1930
Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, Hendersonville, North Carolina


“The Shell Is Here
But The Nut Is Gone”
June M. Wingo
February 4, 1948-March 9, 2005

Roberta City Cemetery, Georgia


“Fair To Middlin”
Margaret Denton
March 16, 1922-September 17, 1999
Memphis National Cemetery, Tennessee


“Good Food Clean Feet”
Annie Bridges Green
June 21, 1926-August 18, 2001
Glen Haven Memorial Garden, Macon, Georgia


“Hallelujah Anyhow”
Edna Proctor
January 10, 1920-May 6, 2005
Memphis National Cemetery, Tennessee

All images courtesy Find A Grave.