Kevin J. McGroarty made sure he had the last word -— and along with it, the last laugh.
The Pennsylvania advertising executive, only 53, died last week. But reportedly about a year before his passing, McGroarty decided to pen his own obituary — full of the humor, along with some self-deprecating jabs, that those who knew him said he exhibited throughout his life.
His obit’s lead sentence? “McGroarty Achieves Room Temperature!”
You can imagine where things head from there — and why his final words have hit a viral nerve, getting attention far beyond his West Pittston hometown.
McGroarty’s stated cause of death? A “long fight with mediocracy.”
As for crucial landmarks of his life, he noted that he “was baptized at St. Cecilia Church, Exeter, which later burned to the ground, attended Butler Street Elementary, which was later torn down, and middle school at 6th Street in Wyoming, now an apartment building.”
McGroarty also declared he “leaves behind no children (that he knows of), but if he did their names would be son, ‘Almighty Thor’ McGroarty; and daughter, ‘Butter Cup Patchouli.’”
More from the obit:
He will be laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery, section 7N. He asks to please make note of his new address. McGroarty’s headstone reads: “I’ll Be Right Back,” one of his favorite sayings. He leaves this world with few regrets, one being told in grade school, his adult life would see the Hershey candy bar rise in cost to over a dollar. He maintained given the resources and initiative, he would rally the good citizens of the Commonwealth to a revolution that would force that price to its original 35-cent market value, a dream he was not able to fulfill, by his own admission the reason: “I was distracted by many beautiful women.”
It might be difficult to refer to the 300 people who gathered Monday at St. Cecilia’s Church in Exeter as “mourners” — in fact, some noted they wouldn’t be surprised if McGroarty was pulling a fast one, reported the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre.
More from the Times Leader:
Tim Yurek was charged with delivering the eulogy at Monday’s service. As Yurek struggled with emotion, fighting back tears, he managed to paint a clear picture of the man most in attendance knew, but many — especially those who read his obituary — wished they had known.
The Rev. Paul McDonnell, a longtime friend of McGroarty’s, conducted the service and he, too, offered touching remarks about a man who literally and figuratively was larger than life. McDonnell described McGroarty as a “big man with a big heart.”
“He brought so much joy into our lives,” he said. “His obituary has become the talk of the town — well, the talk of the country actually.”
McDonnell said some are probably wondering if McGroarty really did die.
“Could he have faked his death?” McDonnell asked. “We gathered here today know that, unfortunately, is not true.”
While the obituary doesn’t delve into the actual cause of death, a friend on McGroarty’s Facebook page who wrote that she’s his first cousin related that McGroarty died “in his sleep” and that a friend who had visited him before his death said “Kevin was having a problem breathing.” His Facebook page also makes reference to indefinite health issues as well as him quitting smoking.
But McGroarty treated even the latter lifestyle change with humor: “Argh! Had a round with the doctors and cigars are in my rear view mirror. I’d really like to be buried with 3 Opus X…hey, they can’t hurt me THEN!!!!”
OpusX is reportedly “one of the rarest cigars in the world. It is elusive to almost every enthusiast because of its limited production,” according to Cigar.com.
As for advice to those he leaves behind, McGroarty reminded readers that “It costs nothing to be nice” and “Never stick a steak knife in an electrical outlet.”
For his pals, McGroatry’s obit offered this heads-up: “He would like to remind his friends: ‘Please, don’t email me, I’m dead.’”
(H/T: New York Daily News)