McKINLEYVILLE, APRIL 1 – Despite having more than 5,000 friends on Facebook, McKinleyville resident Norm DePlume died lonely and alone last Tuesday. Only one person attended the memorial service.
DePlume was well known on Facebook as an ever-present social maven who seemed to know everyone, though no one could recall ever actually meeting him in real life. His Facebook page was always current with the most up-to-date memes and click-bait links, carrying headings like “What he did left everyone shocked!” or “When she starts to sing, everyone is stunned!” or simply “You won’t believe what happened next!” He harvested likes and turned them into friend requests, quickly amassing a following of some 5,420 Facebook friends.
DePlume appears to have died from a severe vitamin D deficiency; a result of never having gone outside into the sunlight. His body was discovered by a neighbor who noticed that DePlume’s 17 cats had not been fed for days.
A pre-arranged memorial was held at Azalea Hall on Sunday. Despite over 5,000 “friends,” the only attendee was a paid mourner from UK-based Rent-A-Mourner, a company which offers to “increase visitor numbers” by supplying “professional, discreet people to attend funerals and wakes.” DePlume’s friends were surprised by the news of his passing.
“I didn’t know he died,” said longtime Facebook friend Sue Denim. “He didn’t post anything about it.”