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This Obit for a Beloved Dad Will Make You Do Double-Take

Joe Heller's family gave him a helluva send-off
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2019 9:05 AM CDT
Updated Sep 15, 2019 7:21 AM CDT
The Heller family really knows how to say goodbye.   (Getty Images/filipfoto)

(Newser) – An 82-year-old Connecticut man died over the weekend, shortly after doctors told his adult children, "Your father is a very sick man." Their response, per his obituary: "You have no idea." That's only the beginning of a very long recap of the life of Joe Heller, whose family disseminated what CNN calls a most "comedic farewell" for the beloved father and grandfather. The death notice—which appeared in the Courant, as well as on the website for the Robinson, Wright, and Weymer Funeral Home—notes Heller "made his last undignified and largely irreverent gesture on September 8, 2019, signing off on a life, in his words, 'generally well-lived and with few regrets.'" That well-lived life, per the obit, included naming his first dog "Fart" so his mom would have to yell that out when she called it.

It was at work that the "self-taught chemist" met "the love of his life, Irene, who was hoodwinked into thinking he was a charming individual with decorum. Boy, was she ever wrong." Heller's passing leaves his three daughters with "a house full of crap, 300 pounds of birdseed, and dead houseplants that they have no idea what to do with." "My dad has an unorthodox view of life and I wanted to honor him and make people smile," daughter Monique Heller, who wrote the obituary, tells CNN. A celebration of his life will be held Thursday beginning at 4pm, and it's fine "to be as late as you’d like as Joe was never on time for anything." His family requests that attendees wear "the most inappropriate T-shirt that you are comfortable being seen in public with as Joe often did." The entire obituary is well worth a full read here. (Read a biting obit here.)

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