A 59-year-old Utah man who died last week wrote his own obituary, confessing to several indiscretions that his widow says are true.
“I enjoyed one good life. Traveled to every place on Earth that I ever wanted to go. Had every job that I wanted to have. Learned all that I wanted to learn,” Val Patterson wrote in the obituary, which was published in the Salt Lake Tribune.
But friends and family of Patterson learned Sunday that the man they thought held a doctorate from the University of Utah didn’t learn everything they thought he did. Patterson says he received the degree thanks to a paperwork mistake and that he never even graduated.
Patterson died from throat cancer on July 10. He wrote his own death notice in the first person last fall, KSL-TV reports.
He said one of the regrets of his life was that he was a smoker when he was younger, and how he knew cigarettes were bad for his health.
“I have robbed my beloved Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of us growing old together and laughing at all the thousands of simple things that we have come to enjoy and fill our lives with such happy words and moments,” Patterson wrote.
The light-hearted obituary also includes a confession to stealing a business' safe. He wrote: "As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June 1971."
Patterson apparently ran into trouble at theme parks, too.
“To Disneyland -- you can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore -- and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this,” he wrote.
Commenters in the online guest book section of Patterson’s obituary said they wished they met him and described his life as an inspiration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.