I read the Times Colonist each morning and one of the sections I read is the obituaries. I suspect my interest has come from reading the weekly obituary in the Economist. The Economist has one obit per week and they chose some very interesting people, not just the big names that die. Their obits are fascinating reportage about these people that are often not that well known
In the newspaper I tend to read the privately placed ones more than the articles because I am interested to see what is put into the paper by family and friends of the people that have died. The personal reportage format makes for some very interesting vignettes. In a few paragraphs the life is summed up and you get a view of what mattered to the person that died. As an example, in today's T-C there is an obit for Marjorie Griffin.
Marjorie died at age 93 and 363 days. She attended UBC in the depression getting her degree in 1936 and becoming a librarian in Kimberly after that. After the war she studied Library Sciences at the University of Washington and eventually in 1952 to become the head librarian for IBM in San Jose and from there became a pioneer in computerized library information systems. She authored an article in 1962 for the Library Journal called the Library of the Future.
What is fascinating is that in this 1962 article she predicted how our current system of libraries works with online catalogs and further than that, she seems to have predicted Wikipedia and Wikibooks.