It’s surprising how a man just after his death leaves everyone in a state of complete shock. Similar was the case with Val Patterson as it turns out to his friends and family that they actually had a thief with bogus academic credentials in the family. Patterson, who died at the age of 59 of throat cancer, wrote his first person obituary last fall.
It begins by detailing Patterson’s passion for science and love for his wife. However, after the first paragraph details revealed in the obituary begin to take a rather surprising turn. Patterson reveals that it was him, who stole the safe from View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. "I AM the guy who stole the safe from View Drive Inn back in June, 1971." Patterson wrote.
Nonetheless, it was not the only secret Patterson disclosed. He revealed that his PhD degree from the University of Utah was not legitimate. An office worker allegedly made a filing error that resulted in Patterson mistakenly receiving diploma in the mail. In reality, Patterson was not even aware as to what the letters PhD even stood for.
The shocking disclosures made by Patterson were verified by his 33-year-old wife Mary Jane. It is interesting to note here as pointed out by Patterson that his lack of education or schooling never got in the way of his success. "I'm sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well." He further stated that the only regret he has in life was smoking cigarettes, which ultimately led to his throat cancer.
Patterson’s Condolence page on the Starks Funeral Home website is filled with comments not just from his family and friends but also from total strangers who were moved after reading the hilarious as well as honest obituary.