Terry Ward lived to make people laugh, so when he died Jan. 23 in Indiana, his daughter decided to write an obituary that would make people smile.
Ward, 71, left behind “32 jars of Miracle Whip, 17 boxes of Hamburger Helper and multitudes of other random items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse,” Jean Lahn wrote, adding that her father “never owned a cell phone and he had zero working knowledge of the Kardashians.”
"I wrote it myself and I didn't tell anyone I was going to make it funny," Lahn told WXIN. "He lived to make other people laugh. ... it was the only way to honor him properly."
During her work at Geisen Funeral Home, Lahn said the template for writing obituaries is, well, rather lame. She said her father deserved something more in tune with his personality.
So, readers discovered that when Ward graduated from Thornridge High School in South Holland, Illinois, “Only three of his teachers took an early retirement after having had him as a student.”
Ward also despised “uppity foods” like hummus, Lahn wrote, adding that the family changed its name to “bean dip” for his benefit (he loved it after the name change). Cars were never purchased new, she wrote, and he met his wife by telling her he was a lineman.
“He didn’t specify early on that he was a lineman for the phone company, not the NFL,” Lahn wrote. “Still, Kathy and Terry wed in the fall of 1969, perfectly between the Summer of Love and the Winter of Regret.”
After reading Ward’s obituary, Lahn said the rest of her family deemed it was perfect and shared many laughs, WXIN reported.
The former Vietnam War veteran moved to DeMotte in 1973, WXIN reported. Lahn wrote that her father worked for AT&T and its predecessors after 39 years of “begrudging service” and accumulated “roughly 3,000 rolls of black electrical tape,” which he used to cover open wounds or create “Don’t use this button” covers.
Lahn ended the obituary with a flourish, noting that donations could be made to a favorite charity in Ward’s name “or your favorite watering hole.”
Terry Ward would have approved.
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