William Ziegler, a retired New Orleans firefighter, passed away at age 69 at the end of July, and his obituary, which will run in the city’s Times-Picayune newspaper tomorrow, has already been posted online. Reading it will give you the sense that this was a dedicated, if not mischievous, public servant with a great sense of humor who didn’t take life too seriously despite his vast contributions to society.
The obituary starts off by speculating that Ziegler, a decorated war veteran, father, and grandfather, passed away before the election “to avoid having to make a decision,” and goes on to offer other humorous anecdotes about his life:
“Upon his return to the City of New Orleans in 1971, thinking it best to keep an eye on him, government officials hired William as a fireman. After twenty-five years, he suddenly realized that running away from burning buildings made more sense than running toward them. He promptly retired.”
It also encourages his loved ones to drink a beer in his honor and offers a glimpse of what he’ll be doing in his afterlife:
“Following his wishes, there will not be a service, but well-wishers are encouraged to write a note of farewell on a Schaefer Light beer can and drink it in his honor. He was never one for sentiment or religiosity, but he wanted you to know that if he owes you a beer, and if you can find him in Heaven, he will gladly allow you to buy him another.”
May he rest in peace.
You can read the whole obituary here.