82-Year-Old Prankster Dies and His Family Gives Him a Hilarious Obituary to Send Him Off09/12/2019
A Connecticut family whose father recently died is sending him off in the best way they know how: through laughter.
Joe Heller spent the duration of his life pranking others, so when he died at the age of 82 on Sunday, his family couldn’t resist getting in one last prank before laying their patriarch to rest — and they did it through a hilarious obituary.
Inspired by her father’s unique perspective on life, Monique Heller (one of Joe’s three daughters) wrote the comedic, yet touching farewell on behalf of her family and shared it to the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home website, CNN reports.
“My dad has an unorthodox view of life, and I wanted to honor him and make people smile,” Monique told the outlet.
Detailed in the lengthy remembrance article is how Joe, who was born during the Great Depression, lived a life of “frugality, hoarding, and cheap mischief, often at the expense of others.”
“When the doctors confronted his daughters with the news last week that ‘your father is a very sick man,’ in unison they replied, ‘you have no idea,'” the obituary jokingly states.
From his very beginnings, Monique said her father enjoyed “torturing his siblings through a childhood of obnoxious pranks, with his brother, Bob, generally serving as his wingman.”
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Whether it was inappropriate games such as “Ding Dong, Dogs—” to pranking school lunch bullies with “laxative-laced chocolate cake and excrement meatloaf sandwiches,” no hijinks were too small for Joe to achieve and no person was ever in the clear.
“He named his first dog, ‘Fart,’ so she would have to scream his name to come home if he wandered off,” Monique hilariously wrote in the obituary.
Later in life, while Joe was working as a self-taught chemist at Cheeseborough-Ponds, he met a woman named Irene and she soon became his wife — something Monique joked was still surprising to this day.
“[Irene] was hoodwinked into thinking he was a charming individual with decorum. Boy, was she ever wrong,” the obituary reads. “Joe embarrassed her daily with his mouth and choice of clothing. To this day we do not understand how he convinced our mother, an exceedingly proper woman and a pillar in her church, to sew and create the colorful costumes and props which he used for his antics.”
Joe and Irene eventually welcomed three daughters — besides Monique, they also had Michelle and Lisette — but the pranks didn’t stop there. In fact, they were only enhanced, especially when the girls started dating.
“During their formative years, Joe made sure that their moral fibers were enriched by both Archie Bunker and Benny Hill. When they began dating, Joe would greet their dates by first running their license plates and checking for bald tires,” Monique wrote. “If their vehicle passed inspection, they were invited into the house where shotguns, harpoons and sheep ‘nutters’ were left clearly on display.”
His family also joked about his Joe’s tendencies to frequently hoard items from the “Essex Dump,” take inconvenient naps and snore incredibly loud.
“He left his family with a house full of crap, 300 pounds of birdseed and dead houseplants that they have no idea what to do with,” Monique wrote. “If there was ever a treasure that he snatched out from under you among the mounds of junk, please wait the appropriate amount of time to contact the family to claim your loot. We’re available tomorrow.”
“Joe was also a consummate napper. There wasn’t a road, restaurant or friend’s house in Essex that he didn’t fall asleep on or in. There wasn’t an occasion too formal or an event too dour that Joe didn’t interrupt with his apnea and voluminous snoring,” she added.
Besides his three daughters, Joe leaves behind three siblings, two sisters-in-law, 14 nieces and nephews, and eight grandchildren, all to “squabble over his vast fortune,” according to the obituary. He was predeceased by Irene and “his pet fish, Jack, who we found in the freezer last week.”
A celebration for life is scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 13, where his family has requested that guests wear the “most inappropriate T-Shirt that you are comfortable being seen in public with as Joe often did,” in honor of his hatred for “formality and stuffiness.”
His funeral is then scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13. In lieu of flowers, his family joked that they’re “seeking donations to offset the expense of publishing an exceedingly long obituary which would have really pissed Joe off.”
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Changing tones for a moment, Monique noted that “what would have made him the happiest is for you to go have a cup of coffee with a friend and bulls— about his antics or play a harmless prank on some unsuspecting sap.”
That seriousness didn’t last for long, however.
“Everybody has a Joe story and we’d love to hear them all,” Monique wrote. “Joe faced his death and his mortality, as he did with his life, face on, often telling us that when he dropped dead to dig a hole in the back yard and just roll him in. Much to his disappointment, he will be properly interred… next to his wife.”
“Sorry, Mom, Lisette and I did the best we could to take care of him and keep him out of your hair as long as we could,” she jokingly added. “Back in your court now.”
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