She was at home wherever somebody else was paying’: Son’s heartfelt – and hilarious – obit to his ‘plus-sized Jewish redneck Tough Gal’ single mom, 84, ‘who never cooked and was terrible with money’ but was great at ‘dirty jokes and rolling joints’ goes viral
- Andy Corren’s heartfelt – and hilarious – obituary to his ‘plus-sized Jewish redneck Tough Gal’ mother Renay Mandel Corren, 84, has gone viral
- ‘I had a mother who perfected the art of turning her pain into art,’ he said
- ‘Life is not so overwhelming or so bitter or impossible that you can not take the reins and turn it into a story,’ said Andy, who is a writer
- The obituary describes Renay’s talents as ‘dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines’
- Corren admits his mother ‘was a bit of a scammer’ but says that the world is in need of colorful characters like his mother
- Renay succumbed to a series of health complications on December 11
Andy Corren knew that getting his large family and his mother’s ‘approximately 7,000’ friends together for her funeral was out of the question.
Instead, the talent manager and writer, 52, from Upstate New York decided to publish an honest obituary for anyone to read to honor his late mother’s ‘bawdy, rowdy life lived large, broke and loud.’
Renay Mandel Corren, 84, succumbed to a series of health complications she had battled for nearly two decades and died on December 11.
Her son’s heartfelt and hilarious remembrance of his ‘plus-sized Jewish redneck Tough Gal’ mother ‘who never cooked and was terrible with money’ has gone viral.
‘I had a mother who perfected the art of turning her pain into art and her art was her life, and for better or for worse, however you view her… that is a powerful lesson for everybody,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Renay was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, ‘where she first fell in love with ham, and atheism,’ her son wrote in her obituary, which was posted online on Wednesday.
She ‘then went on to become the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family,’ Andy told DailyMail.com on Thursday.
‘Here’s what Renay was great at: dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines,’ Corren’s obituary reads.
The obituary for Renay Mandel Corren has gone viral after her son Andy Corren published an honest and hilarious tribute to his ‘plus-sized Jewish redneck Tough Gal’ single mom (Pictured: Renay Mandel Corren, left, with her son Andy Corren, center, and her granddog Hudson, right)
Renay is lovingly remembered for her talents of ‘dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines’ and her lack of cooking and money management skills
‘I had a mother who perfected the art of turning her pain into art and her art was her life, and for better or for worse, however you view her… that is a powerful lesson for everybody,’ Corren told DailyMail.com
The grieving son took note from his mother, Renay Mandel Corren, and turned his pain into a comical but touching viral moment.
‘Life is not so overwhelming or so bitter or impossible that you can not take the reins and turn it into a story. I hope the world celebrates people like my mother,’ Corren told DailyMail.com.
Renay Mandel Corren, 84, succumbed to a series of health complications she had battled for nearly two decades and died in El Paso, Texas on December 11
‘Yes, she was a bit of a scammer but we need those people too, We need characters. We need those people who teach us how to endure and be resilient,’ he said.
Renay lived all across the country in her eight decades but, ‘she was at home wherever somebody else was paying,’ Corren said.
‘Where she lived was where she was either spending money, making money, and taking money,’ he reminisced laughing. She moved to El Paso, Texas, where she passed, to live with ‘her favorite son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Lourdes Corren’ 15 years ago.
Renay made the move after the loss of her ‘badass b**** of a daughter’ who lost one eye ‘in a near-fatal Pepsi bottle incident’ Cathy Sue Corren Lester Trammel Webster.
Corren describes the ‘Gay-Mexican-Jewish-Redneck branch of America’ that his mother was the matriarch of as ‘real American people.’
‘People wanna talk about real America? Take five seconds with my family,’ he insisted. ‘She was America through and through.’
Corren is happy to see the extent to which his honest obituary has been enjoyed, ‘but that’s her she had a big reach.’
The obituary colors Renay’s life with charming antidotes including her ‘affair’ with Larry King in the 60s – which Corren says he wholeheartedly believes – and her claim that she named the gas station company Sunoco, which he also chooses to believe.
‘Yes, Renay lied a lot. But on the plus side, Renay didn’t cook, she didn’t clean, and she was lousy with money, too,’ Corren wrote.
‘It’s who she was in living color,’ he said to DailyMail.com, ‘My mommy was large and she contained multitudes.’
‘The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none what so ever, and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a 1-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance,’ the obituary said.
‘She spent it all, folks. She left me nothing but these lousy memories,’ Corren quipped lovingly in his mothers obituary.
While the obituary pokes fun at Renay and her way of life and child rearing, the larger than life grifter was loved for being exactly who she was.
‘What we are is what we got. We’re all we got. We’re the family and there isn’t a back up family waiting. This is it. It’s not perfect,’ Corren said. He explained that while the obituary teases his mother and is sure to make readers laugh the family is still grieving their matriarch.
‘There will be a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial on May 10, 2022, most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the obit reads.
The obituary went viral after it was shared online by New York Times columnist Sarah Weinman who tweeted: ‘This obit, my god.’
Many people lauded Corren’s honest humor with several claiming that they wanted to road trip and attend the memorial service next year.
‘Andy Corren, you are a tremendous writer and you raised the dead. I think her last act was to give your writing the shine it deserves,’ Twitter user @karion commented.
Another fan of the piece, @joel_grant tweeted: ‘Definitely with profound love. I have no doubt the author, the subject’s son, can vividly picture his mother reading it and raising a drink in approval.’
‘If the Pulitzer committee had an award for obituaries, this would be a lock. Or do they?’ @nofatnoflavor questioned.
One person even wished that Corren could write her obituary as @Flarvik tweeted: ‘I’m kinda with wishing I knew the obit writer Andy Corren well enough for him to write mine. Way to slide into home, lady.’
‘I want to know if we can attend the May memorial service. ROAD TRIP FOR RENAY,’ @peacebang commented.
‘I was about to ask the same question. I want to celebrate this badass bubbe’s life with her gay son and his family. Can we road trip it? I’ll bring snacks. And glitter,’ @JessieLosch replied.
Renay Mandel Corren’s obituary written by her son Andy Corren
El Paso, TX—A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday.
Of itself hardly news, or good news if you’re the type that subscribes to the notion that anybody not named you dying in El Paso, Texas is good news. In which case have I got news for you: the bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch of a sprawling Jewish-Mexican-Redneck American family has kicked it. This was not good news to Renay Mandel Corren’s many surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom she even knew and, in her own way, loved. There will be much mourning in the many glamorous locales she went bankrupt in: McKeesport, PA, Renay’s birthplace and where she first fell in love with ham, and atheism; Fayetteville and Kill Devil Hills, NC, where Renay’s dreams, credit rating and marriage are all buried; and of course Miami, FL, where Renay’s parents, uncles, aunts, and eternal hopes of all Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, are all buried pretty deep. Renay was preceded in death by Don Shula.
Because she was my mother, the death of zaftig good-time gal Renay Corren at the impossible old age of 84 is newsworthy to me, and I treat it with the same respect and reverence she had for, well, nothing. A more disrespectful, trash-reading, talking and watching woman in NC, FL or TX was not to be found. Hers was an itinerant, much-lived life, a Yankee Florida liberal Jewish Tough Gal who bowled ’em in Japan, rolled ’em in North Carolina and was a singularly unique parent. Often frustrated by the stifling, conservative culture of the South, Renay turned her voracious mind to the home front, becoming a model stay at home parent, a supermom, really, just the perfect PTA lady, volunteer, amateur baker and-AHHAHAA HA! HA! HA! Just kidding, y’all! Renay – Rosie to her friends, and this was a broad who never met a stranger – worked double shifts with Doreen, ate a ton of carbs with Bernie, and could occasionally be stirred to stew some stuffed cabbage for the kids. She played cards like a shark, bowled and played cribbage like a pro, and laughed with the boys until the wee hours, long after the last pin dropped. At one point in the 1980’s, Renay was the 11th or 12th-ranked woman in cribbage in America, and while that could be a lie, it sounds great in print. She also told us she came up with the name for Sunoco, and I choose to believe this, too. Yes, Renay lied a lot. But on the plus side, Renay didn’t cook, she didn’t clean, and she was lousy with money, too. Here’s what Renay was great at: dyeing her red roots, weekly manicures, dirty jokes, pier fishing, rolling joints and buying dirty magazines. She said she read them for the articles, but filthy free speech was really Renay’s thing. Hers was a bawdy, rowdy life lived large, broke and loud. We thought Renay could not be killed. God knows, people tried. A lot. Renay has been toying with death for a decades, but always beating it and running off in her silver Chevy Nova. Covid couldn’t kill Renay. Neither could pneumonia twice, infections, blood clots, bad feet, breast cancer twice, two mastectomies, two recessions, multiple bankruptcies, marriage to a philandering Sergeant Major, divorce in the 70’s, six kids, one cesarean, a few abortions from the Quietly Famous Abortionist of Spring Lake, NC or an affair with Larry King in the 60’s. Renay was preceded in death by her ex-boyfriend, Larry King. Renay was also sadly preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Cathy Sue Corren Lester Trammel Webster, of Kill Devil Hills, NC, who herself was preceded in death by two marriages, a fudge shop and one eyeball lost in a near-fatal Pepsi bottle incident that will absolutely be explored in future obituaries. Losing her 1-eyed badass b**** of a daughter in 2007 devastated Renay, but it also made her quite homeless, since Cathy pretty much picked up the tab. A talented and gregarious grifter, Renay M. Corren eked out her final years of luxury (she literally retired at 62) under the care, compassion, checking accounts and, evidently, unlimited patience of her favorite son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Lourdes Corren, of world-famous cow sanctuary El Paso, TX. Renay is also survived by her son Jeffrey Corren and his endlessly tolerant wife Shirley, of Powell’s Point, NC; Scott Corren, and what’s left of his colon, of Hampton, VA; Marc and Laura Corren, the loveliest dirt farmers of Vernon, TX (seriously, where is that); and her favorite son, the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time, Andy Corren, of – obviously – New York City. Plus two beloved granddogs, Mia and Hudson. Renay was particularly close to and grateful for the lavish attentions of her grandaughter Perla and her great-grandchildren Elijah and Leroy, as well as her constant cruise companions Sam Trammell of Greenville, NC, and Adam Corren of El Paso, TX. Renay took tremendous pride in making 1 gay son and 2 gay grandchildren, Sam Trammell and Adam Corren.
There will be a very disrespectful and totally non-denominational memorial on May 10, 2022, most likely at a bowling alley in Fayetteville, NC. The family requests absolutely zero privacy or propriety, none what so ever, and in fact encourages you to spend some government money today on a 1-armed bandit, at the blackjack table or on a cheap cruise to find our inheritance. She spent it all, folks. She left me nothing but these lousy memories. Which I, and my family of 5 brothers and my sister-in-laws, nephews, friends, nieces, neighbors, ex-boyfriends, Larry King’s children, who I guess I might be one of, the total strangers who all, to a person, loved and will cherish her. Forever. Please think of the brightly-frocked, frivolous, funny and smart Jewish redhead who is about to grift you, tell you a filthy joke, and for Larry King’s sake: LAUGH. Bye, Mommy. We loved you to bits.
RIP RENAY MANDEL CORREN 10 MAY 1937 – 11 DEC 2021
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