Scathing Obit: 'It Will Be Challenging to Miss Lawrence'

Estranged son wrote obit for Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr.
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 12:36 PM CDT
Updated Jul 10, 2022 6:32 AM CDT
Scathing Obit: 'It Will Be Challenging to Miss Lawrence'
   (Getty Images / NetPix)

(Newser) – Gannett owns the Florida Times-Union, and it put out an unusual statement about an unusual obituary: "We regrettably published an obituary that did not adhere to our guidelines and we are looking into the matter further. We regret any distress this may have caused." The obit, which ran in the Times-Union last Saturday, marked the death of Lawrence H. Pfaff Sr., and it pulled no punches. It describes him as an abusive alcoholic who had a 20-year career with the NYPD that was marred by his drinking issues.

Though Pfaff professed to eventually remain sober for 30 years, the obit states he "never worked any of the twelve steps, including the eighth and ninth steps with his children, making amends." The final paragraph is perhaps the most savaging: "It will be challenging to miss Lawrence, Sr. because he was narcissistic. He was incapable of love. Lawrence, Sr.'s passing proves that evil does eventually die, and it marks a time of healing, which will allow his children to get the closure they deserve. Lawrence, Sr. can be remembered for being a father to many, and a dad to none." (Read the obit in full here.)

First Coast News reports the obit was penned by Lawrence Pfaff Jr., who began writing it a year before his father's June death. He tells the paper that the writing exercise was "a way for me to really cleanse myself and let that part of my life go," and that he didn't anticipate having "an opportunity in the near future to use it." The two had been estranged for the last 30 years or so. Pfaff Jr. says he received a phone call from a Floridian who appreciated the piece, as it spoke to their own experience. (Read about another scathing obit, or another.)

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