He enjoyed buttermilk in a martini glass, garnished with cornbread. Not one to suffer cats, "Law and Order" or Martha Stewart gladly, he liked his women smart and his eggs deviled, and he eschewed fashion as we know it in favor of high-waisted shorts, basic T-shirts and a grass-stained Mississippi State University baseball cap.
He was a member of a bacon of the month club. He crowed like a rooster during phone calls to his grandchildren. He excelled in "never losing a game of competitive sickness." He referred to daylight-saving time as "The Devil's Time."
In short, Harry Weathersby Stamps was an individual.
South Mississippians who read it were treated to perhaps the most entertaining, warm and enlightening obituary seen in years. Through the obituary's loving humor, gentle candor and laugh-out-loud moments, those apparent few who never took a class taught by Stamps got to know him -- and regret they didn't meet him in life.
The obituary went viral in the Twittersphere and on Facebook.
"He wouldn't know what going viral means. He would have thought that was a disease he contracted, which would have excited him to have another illness to lord over folks," said daughter Amanda Lewis, who wrote the obituary. An attorney who lives in Dallas, she wrote it during the trip to Long Beach, Miss., where Stamps died at home on Saturday, surrounded by his family.
"My sister, Alison, teaches English as a second language at MSU, and she edited it for me," she said. "He so was not a 'the trumpets of Heaven are blowing' sort. This is who my dad was.
"I kept thinking of things -- there are a lot of things I just couldn't put in there -- and I thought, 'Mama's not going to let me run that.' But she read it and said, 'That's him,'" Lewis said.
"Probably the best compliment I've gotten is that at least six people asked if he wrote it," she said.
Alison Stamps said her father's story is hard to summarize.
"It's hard to capture him in just one story," she said. "For all of us, he was like this."
She recalled vacations.
"Every vacation was about visiting historic sites. There was one year we went to Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg; he always wanted us to learn something at the same time," she said. "He was one man in a family of strong women, but he appreciated it. His worst nightmare would be to have to go to an outlet mall while we shopped, but he would do it. If we went on vacation and did the historic spots, he would take us to the outlet mall for our shopping."
Stamps had been a kidney dialysis patient for a couple of years, Lewis said. "His health wasn't good."
That didn't stop the Southern gourmand in him. Boiled peanuts, pork chops, turnip greens, his own homemade canned figs, Vienna sausage on crackers, bacon and tomato sandwiches on Bunny Bread -- Stamps' gastronomic interests read like a who's who of real-life Southern classics.
"After he was diagnosed with diabetes, he told me, 'Life's not worth living if I can't have butter on my sweet potatoes.' That pretty much summed up his point of view on things," Lewis said.
He grew up in New Hebron, Miss., where his father owned the Western Auto store and was mayor of the small town. When his father died when Stamps was 12, his aunts and cousins stepped in to help his mother, Wilma.
Stamps and his wife, Ann, married almost 50 years ago. He taught his two daughters practical things, like how to change flat tires, fish and choose a hammer.