Obituary for NYPD officer: "hobbies included abusing his first wife and children"

The obituary for Lawrence H Pfaff Sr., published in the Florida Times-Union, is funny and tragic at the same time. I recommend listening to the computer voice narration.


Lawrence H Pfaff Sr. was born in Belmont, NY, on April 16, 1941. He passed away on June 27, 2022, living a long life, much longer than he deserved. He is survived by his three children, no four. Oops, five children. Well as of 2022 we believe there is one more that we know about, but there could be more. His love was abundant when it came to himself, but for his children it was limited. From a young age, he was a ladies' man and an abusive alcoholic, solidifying his commitment to both with the path of destruction he left behind, damaging his adult children, and leaving them broken.

The Times-Union published an article about the obituary. Pfaff's 59-year-old son wrote the obit.

The obituary went through several iterations, with the initial ones much angrier than the final version. "It was an angry process," he said, that ended with the anger lessening and him "just processing truth."

He told no one what he had written and hid it away for several months. After his half-brother told him the elder Pfaff died, he submitted it to The Times-Union for publication at a cost of about $500. Writing those words — and seeing them in a newspaper — was cathartic, he said.

"The closure has brought me much happiness. I feel so free from the chains of that prison," he said.