RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - A story we have been telling you about is gaining national attention following the story of a blistering obituary that appeared in the Reno-Gazette Journal. Even Doctor Phil weighed in on the Today Show.
Pat Reddick, one of 8 children born to Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, says he and his siblings stand by every word because they hope it will make an abuser think twice.
Doctor Phil McGraw weighed in on the obituary on the Today’s Professionals segment of the Today Show. He said, “Maybe she deserved it completely, but that's not becoming to the children. I mean they have to live with it. That's not becoming to them. If they had those emotions tell her. Why wait till she dies and put it in the newspaper?”
We spoke with a family law attorney today who said personally he was not shocked by the obituary. Family Law Attorney Joel Santos told News 4, “In the area of family law, it's such an emotional area, that part of me, as an attorney, I'm not surprised by it unfortunately.” Santos says family law in Nevada has evolved, where it used to favor parental rights, “I think the law has switched now to really focus on the child.”
Two of children behind this obituary, Pat and Patricia Reddick helped lay the foundation for this shift of focus away from the rights of parents to the what's right for the child. Their story of their mother's abuse and neglect caught the attention of then Nevada State Senator Sue Wagner (R-Reno), “I thought that the children, they were grown guys when I met with them, they deserve to have some rights and that's why I introduced the bill.”
The bill she is talking about is part of a series of bills that were approved in the mid-80's that shifted focus to give children more equal footing. The Reddick's specifically played a role in SB 98 which laid out "failure of parental adjustment" as grounds for termination of parental rights.
While the Reddick's hope their obituary is an agent for change nationally, they have already played a role to help children in their situation in Nevada.
Clip from the Today Show with Dr. Phil talking about the obituary: