A former New Orleans firefighter is having the last laugh in one of the least-likely places you'd expect to see it: the obituary column in a local newspaper.
William Ziegler, who died on July 29 of this year, was memorialized in an epic obituary submitted to New Orleans' Times-Picayune by his four children, who described the facts of his life in hilarious detail as a tribute to his hobby of collecting humorous obituaries.
"He would have loved this," daughter Sharah Currier told the Times-Picayune. "He probably would have forwarded this obituary to us."
His obituary is quick to mention that "unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends."
According to the Times-Picayune, Ziegler forged his dad's signature at 17 to join the Navy, where his children say he "immediately realized he didn't much enjoy being bossed around." Ziegler served one tour in Vietnam before coming home to Louisiana to begin a career in firefighting.
"Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971," the obituary reads, "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)."
Currier revealed to the Times-Picayune that "There was no Bob. At least I hope not. That was a running joke with my dad."
The obituary further notes that Ziegler wished to be remembered with a very different kind of service than the ones usually accorded to firefighters.
"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."
Cheers, Mr. Ziegler. We never met you, but we miss you already.