71-year-old Terry Ward passed away after suffering a stroke in January. But the mild-mannered telephone company employee is getting more attention for what happened after he died.
In an obituary that has since gone viral, Ward's daughter said he left behind "32 jars of Miracle Whip and 17 boxes of Hamburger Helper, and multitudes of other random items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse."
The memorial explains that Ward was preceded in death by "a 1972 rambler and a hip," and recalls when Ward married his wife Kathy, "between the Summer of Love and the Winter of Regret."
It also lists his many loves, including but not limited to "hunting, fishing, golfing, snorkeling, ABBA, hiking Turkey Run, chopping wood, shooting guns, Bed Bath & Beyond, starlight mints, cold beer, free beer, The History Channel, CCR, war movies, discussing who makes the best pizza, The Chicago White Sox, old Buicks, and above all, his family."
Ward's daughter, Jean Lahm, says the hilarious tribute to her father "matches his personality," but it also recognizes some of Ward's impressive accomplishments.
Between jokes about her father, Lahm writes that he was a Vietnam war vet, who worked at the same company for "39 years of begrudging service."
"He was a blue collar man who worked for the telephone company and was down to earth," she told the Chicago Tribune in an interview about the obituary. "He didn't have an uppity bone in his body. His barometer was so low to the ground."
As someone who works in the funeral industry, Lahm says she appreciates how laughter can help families cope in times of grief.
She remembers her father as a kind man, who always had a Popsicle ready for his seven grandchildren.
"He despised 'uppity foods' like hummus," she wrote, "which his family lovingly called 'bean dip' for his benefit"
She also adds that he never owned a cell phone, and made it through life with "zero working knowledge of the Kardashians."
Lahm says that Ward's obituary has gone viral because so many people can relate to it. "A lot of people have these great Dads that are just like that," she told the Tribune. "Good guys. That's what he was."
As for what Ward would make of all this attention? "I think he's up there having an awesome laugh over all of this," she told the Today show.
"Memorial donations in Terry's name can be made to your favorite charity or your favorite watering hole," Lahm wrote, "where you are instructed to tie a few on and tell a few stories of the great Terry Ward."
Rest in peace Terry!