Leaving them laughing: John E. Holden's self-written obituary has gone viral on the internet
By Steve Nolan, The Daily Mail
They say that you should always leave them laughing, and one smooth-talking war veteran who died last month has certainly raised at least a wry smile after his hilarious self-penned obituary became an internet sensation.
John E. Holden's witty eulogy to himself describes a life of 'endless laughter and debauchery.'
Posted on the Lancaster Online website, the tribute has sparked a flurry of tributes from strangers who say that they wish they had gotten to know John, who was known to his friends as Jack.
Jack's tribute opens with a laugh as he describes himself as having taken the 'Deep Six', but it goes on to acknowledge his heroics as a Marine fighter pilot in the Second World War and tells readers that he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his combat activities and the Air Medal for action in Okinawa in 1945.
Former pilot: Mr Holden, pictured here as a boy, was a fighter pilot in the Second World War
Here's his eulogy:
'A LIFE FILLED WITH ENDLESS LAUGHTER': JOHN E. HOLDEN'S OBIT IN FULL
John E. Holden, alias Jack, took the Deep Six, Monday, May 27, 2013 at the Willow Valley Retirement Community after a life filled with endless laughter and debauchery.
While flying his beloved Corsair as a Marine Fighter Pilot during WWII he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his combat activities, the Air Medal for action in Okinawa in 1945 and the Distinguished Fleeing Cross for avoiding numerous women who were seeking child support under unproven circumstances.
After WWII, he spent eight years with the Armstrong Cork Company and resigned with the title of Assistant Director of Advertising plus a dinky pension.
He then joined the Hubley Toy Company and later became an independent toy designer.
He was a longstanding member of the Lancaster Country Club, the Hamilton Club and the International Mickey Mouse Club from which he was immediately banned after providing housing for a number stray cats.
For many years prior to his demise, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek publication at Willow Valley called 'The Wrinkle Valley News' where he had close to a thousand readers whom he referred to as 'The Inmates of Wrinkle Valley.'
They fully enjoyed his creative humor and his intention to help them make unwise decisions in their hectic lives.
Jack was widowed 10 years ago after sixty-one years of marriage to Elaine Ewing Holden. He has had a number of other wives recently, none of which were his.
Three daughters, Holly, Wendy and Anne Holden and a son, John E. Holden, Jr., have managed to survive despite being related to their father. His last words were 'I’m really going to miss myself.'
Stay tuned for the 'Gone Away' party to which the invitation may never come.
In all seriousness, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to Honor Flight, 300 E. Auburn Avenue, Springfield, OH 45505 or www.honorflight.org.
Jack Holden wrote this obituary several years ago.
The funny obit appears to have gone down well with dozens commenting on the Lancaster Online website and that of the funeral service which is in charge of Jack's memorial.
Ben Donahower wrote: 'A wonderful tribute to, clearly, a wonderful man. My condolences to his family; not many families are as lucky as the Holden's to have a comedian at Thanksgiving and Christmas!'
'Here's hoping that someone has catalogued the Wrinkle Valley News. I'm sure they are a riot.'
Terry Frazier added: 'It's a shame that so many of us have been denied the pleasure of knowing this wonderful man who can even bring laughter to others with his parting words and final summary of his life.
'We should all be blessed with such characters in our life. My condolences to his family.
'May your remaining years be continually blessed with the echoes of his laughter.'