Man wrote his own funny confessional obituary

Val "Rocky" Patterson of Salt Lake City, Utah died last week of throat cancer at 59. The man whose motto was "anything for a laugh" has achieved post-mortem celebrity for the confessional obituary he left behind:

 Legacy Images Cobrands Saltlaketribune Photos Mou0017789-2 20120713 Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn't even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters "PhD" even stood for. For all of the Electronic Engineers I have worked with, I'm sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work. Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again. To Disneyland - you can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore - and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.

Val Patterson, Obituary


  1. I found the end of his obituary as enjoyable and poignant as I found the first part hilarious. Although I understand his decision I’m a little sad that he opted not to have a funeral. After all if there’s anybody who could put the “fun” in “funeral” it’s gotta be Mr. Patterson.

    1. And, if I may add, we should all also hope to have such a life well lived with someone we loved so dearly.  

  2. Somewhere in Salt Lake City a jaded police detective is closing a long-dusty file and issuing a lengthy sigh of relief, finally closing out that case.

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