US cancer victim uses obituary to confess sins
A CANCER victim has used his own obituary to confess a litany of sins, including that he never really earned a PhD.
Val Patterson, 59, came clean in an honest retrospect of his life in which he also apologised for minor crimes including stealing a hotel safe.
His self-penned mea culpa was printed, complete with grammatical errors, in the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper in Utah after his death.
Mr Patterson worked initially as a mechanic and went on to become an inventor of products including a type of windmill, and computer software.
He wrote that his PhD from the University of Utah had actually been a paperwork error, and he didn't even complete his undergraduate degree.
In his obituary he said: "I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later a PhD diploma came in the mail.
"I didn't even graduate. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters 'PhD' even stood for. For all the electronic engineers I have worked with, I'm sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well."
Mr Patterson went on to confess: "As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest," He also admitted to kicking rocks into the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park, and to being "banned for life" from Disneyland and Sea World in San Diego following youthful high jinks.
After Mr Patterson died of throat cancer on July 10 his obituary was posted on the website of Starks Funeral Home in Utah and those who read it disseminated it across the world on the internet.
One comment on the funeral website read: "This is the best obituary I've ever read."
Mr Patterson's wife of 33 years, Mary Jane, confirmed that the events he confessed to were true.
She added: "He wanted to set a new standard on how obituaries should be written."