Then there was the wonky miscommunication that started it all. In May 2008, a friend e-mailed Ms. Yates a photo of a sheet cake that looked like a prop from “The Office.” It was not. Amid marzipan flowers, the cursive inscription was a profound reminder of the perils of ordering supermarket cakes by phone. It read:

Best Wishes Suzanne

Under Neat that

We will Miss you