Anyone who has had to write an obituary for a loved one knows how challenging it can be.
Trying to capture someone’s essence and the way you felt about them in a handful of words is a big ask.
That’s why we have to hand it to offspring of former New Orleans firefighter William Ziegler for penning one of the most entertaining tributes we’ve read.
Ziegler, 69, “escaped this mortal realm” on July 29. The family jokes that, unlike previous times, this was “not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends … he assures us that he is gone.”
The obituary appeared in the Times-Picayune on Friday. The publication has said the tribute “quickly went viral” and some have called it “one of the all-time great obituaries.”
Ziegler’s daughter, Sharah Currier, told the Times-Picayune that her dad would always pass along strange obituaries. “He would have loved this,” she says. “He probably would have forwarded this obituary to us.”
Here it is in its entirety:
He assures us he is gone
William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69.
We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.
He leaves behind four children, five grandchildren, and the potted meat industry, for which he was an unofficial spokesman until dietary restrictions forced him to eat real food.
William volunteered for service in the United States Navy at the ripe old age of 17 and immediately realized he didn’t much enjoy being bossed around. He only stuck it out for one war.
Before his discharge, however, the government exchanged numerous ribbons and medals for various honorable acts.
Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971, thinking it best to keep an eye on him, government officials hired William as a fireman.
After twenty-five years, he suddenly realized that running away from burning buildings made more sense than running toward them. He promptly retired.
Looking back, William stated that there was no better group of morons and mental patients than those he had the privilege of serving with (except
Bob, he never liked you, Bob).
Following his wishes, there will not be a service, but wellwishers are encouraged to write a note of farewell on a Schaefer Light beer can and drink it in his honor.
He was never one for sentiment or religiosity, but he wanted you to know that if he owes you a beer, and if you can find him in Heaven, he will gladly allow you to buy him another.
He can likely be found forwarding tasteless internet jokes (check your spam folder, but don’t open these at work). Expect to find an alcoholic dog named Judge passed out at his feet. Unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends. He assures us that he is gone.
He will be greatly missed.
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