N&O pulls 94-year-old woman's candid obit

Friday, January 8, 2016
Wilma Marie Voliva Black
Wilma Marie Voliva Black
wtvd-Credit: The News and Observer/Legacy.com

Update: (9:30 p.m.)

The News & Observer took Wilma Black's online obituary offline on Thursday afternoon. ABC11 reached out to the News & Observer for clarification and was told an explanation was not immediately available.

The family of Wilma Black has reached out to us concerning the accuracy of some of the events portrayed in her obituary.

Check back for updates regarding this story.


"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned..."

The News and Observer Thursday featured a unique obituary that chronicled the "soap opera" life of a 94-year-old woman.

Though unclear who wrote the seven-paragraph journey through Wilma Marie Voliva Black's life, those who were deemed disloyal were certainly called on it.

The obit narrates Wilma's "struggle into life," and details an adolescence that culminated in an elopement to cover up a scandalous affair.

The News and Observer obit reads:

    Her co-star in a church play, Charles Black pressed Wilma into an elopement in May 1939. Wilma later learned that their marriage had been a cover for his sexual affair with their minister's wife. Alcoholism and adultery continued throughout their marriage and ended in Wilma's filing for divorce in 1969.

The obit sneaks in that she is survived by her five children and 16 "known" grandchildren....interpret that how you will.

Her dramatic life detailed in the obit is peppered with compliments, including her love of reading and sewing.

The final paragraphs outline the end of Wilma's life, where her son dropped her off at an assisted-living facility in Knightdale, seemingly against her will.

From the News and Observer:

    In 1999 her son moved her to NC and requested that she sign a durable power of attorney. Wilma lived independently with her son's oversight until 2012 and then her son moved her into an assisted living facility in Knightdale. There he attributed her inability to care for herself to her lack of effort rather than the level of assistance and care she received. Family concern that she was being neglected was brushed aside. The location was convenient to his work and home. She told him, "This is not living, it's existing."

Do yourself a favor and read the entire obituary from the News and Observer. But first, enjoy this last nugget from Wilma's "modern day tragedy":

    She died alone on Dec. 22 and was buried after Dave and his mistress returned from their Dec. 25 vacation trip to Oregon.

The obituary was posted online here and was originally printed in the Thursday edition of the News and Observer.