RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- There is an unusual obituary that appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal that has gone viral. It is scathing and is written "on behalf of the children." The obituary is for Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, who was born January 4, 1935 and died August 30, 2013. The obituary had a typo saying Johnson-Reddick died Sept. 30, 2013.
Among other things, the obituary claims she "tortured" her children and that they "celebrated her passing." Many are asking if this obituary is real and what is the story behind it. News 4 did some digging and found the obituary is, in fact, real.
Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick was a resident of Reno. She had eight children, six of whom are still living. One of her sons lives in our area. He declined an on-camera interview, but said the obituary was submitted online by a sister in Texas.
This family's story is also a piece of Nevada history. Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick's children lived in a foster home in Carson City. The obituary marked an ending to a chapter for the Reddick family, but just a block away from the foster home, you can see the dome of the Nevada Supreme Court where there was a ruling in the 70s that parents' rights usurped children's rights, and the case stems from the children of this obituary.
A few years later, the Reddick's story of their mother's abuse came to then state senator Sue Wagner. She introduced legislation that was eventually adopted, allowing children to terminate parental rights.
The Reddicks aren't willing to share their story of abuse publicly, but they did leave a positive mark for children facing their situation.