Matthew Fatality: DeLand woman posted hurricane Facebook meme that eerily foreshadowed her own death the next day

HurricaneMatthew fatality victim Susan Lappin Mathes / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer / Above, Susan Lappin Mathes of DeLand with her posted Facebook page meme, the day before the DeLand woman was killed when she went outside to feed her animals during Hurricane Matthew. And Mathes had a religious message from her Facebook page, too.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- BettyJean Lappin Cogley was upset by the social media message her sister, Susan Lappin Mathes ofd DeLand, posted the day before she was killed when a tree fell on her after she went outside to feed her animals during Hurricane Mathew.

A press release from Volusia County Emergency Management confirmed the death Friday, stating, "There was one fatality in Volusia County today: The deceased is 63-year old Susan Mathes of 965 Hazen Road, DeLand. Mathes was outside feeding animals when a tree fell on her. Mrs. Mathes’ husband attempted to drive her to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

At 7:06 p.m. Thursday, Mathis posted a meme on her Facebook page that read, "If your home is hit by a dolphin, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE TO SEE IF THE DOLPHIN IS OKAY. That's how hurricanes trick you into coming outside."  It is accompanied by an illustration of a woman hanging onto a pole, her body parallel to the ground as it swinging in the wind.

Susan Lappin Mathes' sister, BettyJean Lappin Cogley, subsequently wrote on her deceased sister's Facebook page, "It's sad that my sister posted this the day before she died."

Mathes was among five Florida deaths attributed to Hurricane Matthew, which struck Central Florida early Friday. 

A woman was killed in Putnam County on Friday after a tree fell on a camping trailer, she and a companion were staying in, hoping to ride out the storm. He escaped with minor injuries, but she perished in their camper near Crescent City.

Three deaths were reported in St. Lucie County. A St. Lucie County couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using a generator in their garage, according to county officials there. And a St. Lucie County woman died from a heart attack after rescuers said they couldn't get to her in Hurricane Matthew's dangerous conditions.

Betty Jean Lappin's comment about her sister's meme, in which expressed sadness and irony, drew several responses. 

Miriam Berman Stewart wrote, "Betty Jean, I don't know what to say, except I care. Hugs." Nancy Youngster Baron wrote, "I live in DeLand and heard the sad news. So very sorry for your loss. Truly a good person for loving and caring for animals." 

Ellen Pitt stated the obvious in writing to the sister, "What she said about hurricanes tricking you into coming outside is kind of creepy.

Nancy Youngster Baron reacts to fellow DeLand woman's death / Headline SurferNancy Youngster Baron of DeLand, shown here, was among several people who reacted to Betty Jean Lappin's comment about her deceased sister's meme, in which expressed sadness and irony:

Miriam Berman Stewart wrote, "Betty Jean, I don't know what to say, except I care. Hugs." 

Nancy Youngster Baron wrote, "I live in DeLand and heard the sad news. So very sorry for your loss. Truly a good person for loving and caring for animals."

Ellen Pitt stated the obvious in writing to the sister, "What she said about hurricanes tricking you into coming outside is kind of creepy.
 

FAST FACTS: What is a meme?

Deceased DeLand woman's meme avout goling outside during a hurricane / Headline SurferA meme is: 
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
 
An "Internet meme" is:
a concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the Internet, largely through Internet-basedE-mailing, blogs, forums, image boards, social networking sites )like Facebook, Insgram or Twitter) and video hosting sitres like YouTube and Twitch.tv.
 
Here are examples of memes downloaded on social mediua sites during Hurricane Matthew: 
 
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet in Daytona Beach, Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards.

View his stories archives here