It’s never easy to lose a loved one, especially a parent. But if there’s one thing that helps, it’s having a sense of humor, especially when that sense of humor is one of the things you got from that parent.
What better way to honor someone’s memory than by doing it in a way they would appreciate.
That’s exactly what the children of former New Orleans firefighter William Ziegler did when their dad passed away at the age of 69.
Explaining to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that her dad used to read funny obituaries aloud, daughter Sharah Currier says he would have loved the one they wrote for him.
“He would have loved this,” she said. “He probably would have forwarded this obituary to us.”
The obituary is hilariously blunt about their dad’s life, starting with his enlistment in the Navy and his questionable reasons for leaving to become a fireman.
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.
His retirement from a long career serving the city gets the same sort of tongue-in-cheek treatment, with the obituary citing Ziegler’s playful jokes at his coworkers’ expense, with one, in particular, getting a special mention:
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).
Finally, not being a religious man, Ziegler’s kids stress that everyone honor their dad in the way he would have most appreciated: with beer.
Following his wishes, there will not be a service, but well-wishers 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.
The incredible tribute ends with a nod to the firefighter’s previous attempts to dodge responsibility by faking his own death, reassuring readers that this time he truly is gone:
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.
With an entertaining obituary like that one, he’s sure to be remembered.
Read the full version here.
And check out this other hilarious obituary for a badass dad from Iowa.