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Jack Holden’s Last Laugh / Nick Ehrhardt

Jack Holden’s Last Laugh

Writing your own obituary is about the only way you will get the last say. Some people want to make sure their accomplishments are all duly noted; some want to make sure certain things are left out. And some just like to be playful about their lives, leaving everyone with a going-away guffaw.

John Holden (Photo via Lancaster Online)
John Holden (Photo via
Lancaster Online)

John E. Holden of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is one who penned his playful, pre-death obit, much to his friends' and family’s delight. Much to many strangers’ delight, too, as this is another obit that has “gone viral” and been featured on many online sites.

The full obituary was first published in Lancaster Online, an edition of the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Intelligencer-Journal, and got things off to an interesting start: “John E. Holden, alias Jack, took the Deep Six, Monday, May 27…”

Jack, it seems, was a fun, loveable and fun-loving guy – a Marine Fighter Pilot during World War II who was awarded “the Distinguished Fleeing Cross for avoiding numerous women who were seeking child support…”

A toy inventor and amusing writer, Jack wrote The Wrinkle Valley News at the Willow Valley Retirement Community where he lived when he died.

According to the obituary, “His last words were 'I’m really going to miss myself.” From the comments posted on the funeral home’s guest book, it seems like those who knew him will miss him, too. Those who didn’t know him, wish they did!

For a look at excerpts from other do-it-yourself obits:


Written by Susan Soper. Soper is the author of ObitKit™, A Guide to Celebrating Your Life. A lifelong journalist, she has been a reporter with Newsday, writer for CNN, and Features Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she launched a series called "Living with Grief."