Entries in Obituary (5)


Utah Man Confesses to Fake Resume, Theft in Self-Penned Obituary

Courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A Utah scientist used his obituary to admit to colleagues that he didn't actually graduate from college, let alone get a Ph.D.

Val Patterson, a scientist from Salt Lake City, also confessed to a theft in the obit that he wrote himself.

"I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June 1971," he wrote.

He also told Disneyland and San Diego's SeaWorld they could throw away his "banned for life" file from their records.

Patterson said he lived by the philosophy of "anything for a laugh" and tried to have the last one with his obit, which he wrote himself before he died on July 10 from throat cancer.  He was 59.

High on his list of things he confessed to -- or bragged he got away with -- was his educational resume.

He admitted he hadn't earned his Ph.D. and said it was mailed to him by the University of Utah in error.  Patterson said that he hadn't even earned enough credits to graduate from the state university, and "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, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work," he wrote.

The Starks Funeral Parlor said Patterson was a chemist who owned Salt Lake Metals.

Remi Barron, spokesman for the University of Utah, said the university did not have any record of any degree conferred upon or even being mailed to Val Patterson.

"The only information we have is that he attended the university in the autumn, winter, and spring of 1971-1972," he said.  "We were on the quarter system then.  It would equate to two semester's in today's system."

The obituary was published in the Salt Lake Tribune on July 15, as well as on the Starks Funeral Parlor website, where his funeral will be held this Sunday.

Patterson ends the obituary apologizing to his wife, Mary Jane.

"My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me.  Now, to make it worse, 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," he wrote.

"My pain is enormous, but it pales in comparison to watching my wife feel my pain as she lovingly cares for and comforts me.  I feel such the 'thief' now -- for stealing so much from her -- there is no pill I can take to erase that pain," he said in the obituary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Florida Woman's Obituary Includes Children's Dispute

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Obituaries are usually worded with sentiments about loved family members and friends when they pass away. Josie Anello's obituary turned into a family feud.

"She is survived by her Son, 'A.J.', who lived and cared for her; Daughter 'Ninfa', who betrayed her trust, and Son 'Peter', who broke her heart," read the obituary in the Tampa Tribune.

That obit was written by her son Angelo Anello. A second obit appeared in the Tribune written by her daughter Ninfa Simpson, without the denigrating references to herself and her brother Peter.

Josie Anello, 93, of Land O'Lakes , Fla., died Feb. 11, according to both obits.

Angelo Anello refused to speak to and Simpson could not be reached for comment.

But in interviews with the Tampa Bay Times, Angelo Anello, 63, and Simpson, 65, accused each other of stealing from their mother, a grudge that apparently spilled over into Angelo's obit.

Josie Anello, whose husband Vito died in 2007, lived with her daughter in North Carolina for some of 2010 to 2011. She then moved in with her son Angelo in Florida.

Simpson said Angelo Anello controlled their mother, forcing family members to go through him first for access, she told the Times, and she accused him of draining their mother's savings.

Angelo Anello denies his sister's accusations, but claimed that Simpson and her husband used their mother's Social Security checks to go on vacation in Branson, Mo., and Alaska.

Simpson denies these allegations.

Josie Anello had one other son, Peter, who distanced himself from the family 25 years ago. He could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fallen Seattle Marine Leaves Behind Inspirational Letter

Creatas/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- The family of a 23-year-old Marine killed in Afghanistan late last month has discovered an inspirational letter the young Seattle-area man left behind in case he perished in the line of duty.

Sgt. William C. Stacey died Jan. 31 in an improvised explosive device attack, Marines told Stacey’s parents Bob and Robin Stacey, both University of Washington professors, on Tuesday, according to The Seattle Times.

“My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all,” Stacey wrote in the letter, published Wednesday by The Seattle Times. “But there is a greater meaning to it."


“...Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his. And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader's henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire. He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it,” Stacey wrote.

Sgt. Stacey was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed. The attack, Marines told Bob Stacey, occurred while Will Stacey was on foot patrol near Nawzad, the Times reported.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., the U.S. Defense Department said Wednesday in a news release announcing Stacey's death.

“Semper Fidelis means always faithful. Always faithful to God, Country and Corps. Always faithful to the principles and beliefs that guided me into the service. And on that day in October when I placed my hand on a bible and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I meant it."

Stacey will reportedly be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Journalist Andy Rooney Dies at 92

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Andy Rooney, the rumpled writer whose weekly riffs about the absurdities of everyday life made him one of television's longest-running commentators, died Friday night, just weeks after his farewell broadcast on "60 Minutes." He was 92.

He died from complications from a recent surgery.

Rooney presented his first commentary on "60 Minutes" in 1978 and he became a weekly fixture the following year when he assumed his perch at the end of the broadcast.

It would be a remarkable run. By the end of Rooney's final appearance Sunday, Oct. 2, he had presented 1,097 original essays and had worked for CBS for 62 years.

"One day about 10 years ago the door to my office opened and who walked in but Bill Gates. … Seemed like a nice guy and has done more with his money than most billionaires. But that's as far as I want to go being kind to Bill Gates," Rooney said in one of his classic essays.

"I had one typewriter for 50 years, but I have bought seven computers in six years. I suppose that's why Bill Gates is rich, and Underwood is out of business."

In a 2008 commentary, Rooney marveled at the flood of Christmas catalogues stuffing his mailbox. "This is a Sears catalogue. Sears, whatever happened to Roebuck? You never hear Sears, Roebuck anymore. Call if you're out there, Roebuck," he deadpanned.

In one of his final appearances, Rooney kvetched about changes in pop music. "If I am so 'average American,' how come that I have never heard of most of the musical groups that millions of others Americans apparently are listening to," he said.

"The singers I know have been replaced by singers like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Usher. I mean, who?"

Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney was born in Albany, N.Y. in 1919. In 1941, while attending Colgate University, he was drafted into the Army, leading to one of Rooney's formative experiences, covering World War II for the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper, what he called "the single luckiest thing that ever happened to me."

"I hate to say it, but I had a great time in World War II," he once said.

While in London, he met two men who would go on to iconic success at CBS, Walter Cronkite and Don Hewitt. Rooney followed them to CBS in 1949 as a writer for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" and then "The Garry Moore Show." He also began writing for CBS News, for such programs as "The Twentieth Century" and "The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr."

In 1962, Rooney began a long collaboration with the correspondent Harry Reasoner, writing and producing a series of Reasoner's CBS News specials.

Rooney won the first of his four Emmy Awards in 1968, for writing an installment of the CBS News series, "Of Black America." That same year, he also joined the staff of a new program helmed by his old friend Hewitt: "60 Minutes."

At first, Rooney worked as a producer on the broadcast with no thought, he would later claim, of appearing on the air himself. But in that initial season, he appeared in silhouette with a "60 Minutes" senior producer for an end-of-the broadcast segment called "Ipso and Facto."

"It was one of many experiments … Hewitt tried as an end for the program," according to Rooney's official CBS News biography.

Hewitt eventually settled on a point-counterpoint segment that featured the liberal Shana Alexander and the conservative James J. Kilpatrick presenting dueling opinions. After having Rooney deliver some commentaries in 1978, Hewitt gave him the end-of-the-show slot full time beginning in the fall of 1979.

Through the years, television changed, but Rooney did not. He was the crusty uncle, and then the cranky grandfather, serving up wry slices of life. Week after week, year after year, Rooney taped his appearances while sitting behind his desk in his book-lined office. Visually appealing, it was not. For Rooney, the words were what mattered.

But those words sometimes got him in trouble.

In 1990, Rooney was given a three-month suspension by CBS for remarks that many considered offensive. They included a commentary in 1989, when the AIDS epidemic raged, in which Rooney lumped in "homosexual unions" with smoking and drinking as "self induced" ills that "lead quite often to pre-mature death."

So many viewers objected to the suspension -- CBS was flooded with thousands of letters and telephone calls -- the network reinstated Rooney after just one month.

Rooney authored 16 books, including Air Gunner; the Story of the Stars and Stripes, The Fortunes of War, A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney, and most recently, in 2009, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit.

A weekly newspaper column, which he wrote beginning in 1979, was recognized in 2003 by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists with its Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, were married for 62 years before her death, in 2009. They had four children, including Emily Rooney, a former executive producer of ABC's World News Tonight, and Brian Rooney, a former ABC correspondent.

In his final broadcast earlier this month, Rooney spoke -- in his typically prickly style -- of his relationship with his audience. "I spent my first 50 years trying to become known as a writer and the next 30 trying to avoid being famous," he said. "I walk down the street or go to a football game and people shout, 'Hey Andy." I hate that."

Still, he allowed a moment of warmth and gratitude. "All this time I've been paid to say what is on my mind in television," he said. "You don't get any luckier than that."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Steve Jobs Dead at 56

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes, has died in California. Jobs was 56.

Steve Jobs’ family Wednesday made the following statement regarding his death:

"Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories. We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."

In the world of high technology, Steve Jobs was a rock star. In his trademark black turtle neck and blue jeans he made computers and gadgets cool and easy to use.

He was the driving force behind the iPhone, iPod and iTunes, changing the way we buy and listen to music and watch video. Jobs was obsessed with the look of the products and demanded they be sleek, stylish and a step or three ahead of the competition.

"There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. I skate where the puck is going to be not where it's been. And we've always tried to do that at Apple," Jobs once said.

A college drop out, Jobs famously launched Apple Computer in 1976 in his parent's garage with his partner Steve Wozniak. In no time, the duo was churning out computers and challenging the concept of what a computer should be.

The Macintosh was billed as the first user friendly computer and helped make Jobs a millionaire by the age of 25.

Still he was forced out of his own company, driving him to start Next computer and buy what would become Pixar animation.

In the 90's Jobs returned to Apple, which had languished in his absence. He quickly turned it around by continuing his pursuit of what he called "insanely great products."
By then, Jobs had become synonymous with Apple, so in 2008 the stock tumbled when the cancer survivor appeared gaunt. He took a medical leave of absence while undergoing a liver transplant. But he returned armed with fresh inspiration and the iPad, which quickly became the must-have gadget of 2010.
However, in August 2011, Jobs announced his resignation.
In a letter to Apple's Board of Directors, Steve Jobs wrote:

"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately that day has come."
Even in better times Jobs was often criticized for his temper and ego -- but no-one ever doubted his passion to make products that would change the world.

In an email Wednesday, Apple executive and successor to Steve Jobs, Tim Cook informed Apple employees of Jobs' passing:


I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.


Steve Jobs once said, "I want to put a ding in the universe."

No question, he did.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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