A Georgia woman eulogized her late father — a "camo coverall lovin' redneck" — with a clever and sarcastic obituary.
Kenneth "Kenne" Pluhar, Jr. of Alton, Illinois, died on March 2, 2023 (his birthday) after battling sepsis at age 62. His daughter Halliea Milner wanted to memorialize him in a characteristic manner, so she drafted an obituary that would make him proud.
After struggling to hire a writer, Milner sat down and "let it out."
"We were great friends," Milner tells TODAY.com. "I remember him being upset with me only two times in my life — once when I was 7 and I (accidentally) punched him in the nose and again when I said he couldn't leave the nursing home until he got oxygen in his house. He was more stern with other people but a very caring father."
In his obituary, Milner recalled her dad's endearing personality.
"Kenne died in ICU at St Anthony’s after losing a battle with sepsis — at the age of 62, after 50 years of crap-starting with everyone and everything he could find to fight ... this hard as nails, redneck, SOB finally found something meaner and more stubborn than himself," she wrote.
The tribute continued, "Like any good card-carrying, ray ban wearing, camo coverall lovin’ redneck, Kenne had 3 true loves: hunting, fishing, and drinking. He liked 'both kinds of music — country AND western.' Like every sad cowboy song, he couldn’t stay married, but that didn’t keep him from trying. Again. And again. He had a total of 4 legal marriages (and divorces) and one common law marriage under his belt — that we know of."
Pluhar had an adventurous streak, says Milner. "He loved to sky-dive. I wanted to go with him, I just never made it."
When it came to family, Pluhar was "extremely proud" of his only child, "mostly because she is almost as big of a pain in the a-- as he was, and she kept the pain-in-the-a-- line going by giving him his only grandchild, Sidnee Milner," she wrote.
"He was preceded in death by his mother, Connie Sue (McKinnon) Donnelson, who, til the day he died, he called 'his mommy'— proof positive that even the biggest a--holes (jerks) have a soft side, you just may have to dig deeper to find it," she continued. "His father, Kenneth Joseph Pluhar, Sr, is still around, though, and was sure to teach Kenne the best ways to be emotionally unavailable and yet overly sensitive, all rolled into one. It’s a strong family trait passed down generation to generation."
Aside from his siblings — "all of whom managed to outlive him, which is no surprise seeing as he was equal parts daredevil and lush"— Pluhar is survived by his nieces and nephews whom he "terrorized and traumatized."
Milner described her dad as an "outdoorsy" carpenter who was "great at growing his own weed."
"Kenne was good at just about anything he tried to be good at and was wicked smart — but that didn’t stop him from trying his best to do absolutely nothing except drink, smoke, and listen to music," she wrote.
The family will memorialize Pluhar with a "party" on March 24 and, in lieu of donations and gifts, guests are encouraged to visit a local Dollar Store in Pluhar's honor. "He was a super pragmatic and frugal guy," Millner says.
Memorial etiquette is strict.
"Doors open at 5:30, there will be food & beer that you don’t have to pay for (Kenne’s favorite) at 6:00 and people will start talking crap about Kenne and his life around 7," wrote Milner. "Although there will be music and mayhem, don’t plan to stay too long; we are going to kick you out at 10pm."
Milner anticipates a crowd, especially since she placed an announcement in the local newspaper. The ICU staff at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center (where he died) RSVP'd and a family friend has jokingly suggested bringing bouncers and a D.J.
"I'm a little worried," says Milner. "I'm hoping we won't have too many crashers."