Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Texas man wrote his own obituary, offering poignant life lessons

Estate planningLonnie Dillard died one month after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Dillard died in Austin, Texas at the age of 75. Instead of having a boilerplate obituary, Dillard decided to write his own and did so in an eloquent fashion!

Dillard did not write about himself in his obituary, but instead he penned an inspirational obituary that implored readers to take a look at their own lives. 

Dillard wrote, "I hope to make your time worthwhile. Instead of cataloging careers and adventures I have had, honors I received, missteps I made or some I loved (I was blessed to have more than my share of each of these) or bemoaning how much my sparkling wit or wisdom will be missed, I though it better to share a few of the big lessons I learned during my 75 eventful years on Planet Earth." 

Dillard had three main focus points in his obituary, specifically centered around things that come for free, like love. Those points are below: 

  1. "A mother’s unwavering love can turn a very ordinary little boy into an extra-ordinary man, if only in his own mind,"
  2. "Making and keeping friends, like tending a garden, requires attention and effort. Yet doing so yields greater returns than anything else you will ever do."
  3. "As Buddhists say: Be kind; everyone you meet is traveling a difficult journey. There is no substitute for a good deed; but simply helping a stranger laugh or smile can lighten a load, too."

The rest of the obituary follows this same sort of inspiring modality and is no doubt an eloquent farewell from Dillard who seems to have been a wise and thoughtful man. 

See Zachary Kussin, Texas man wrote his own obituary, offering poignant life lessons, Fox News, January 18, 2021. 


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