SALT LAKE CITY — A 59-year-old Utah man who wrote his own obituary before he died last week used the opportunity to come clean.

Friends and family of Val Patterson learned Sunday that the man they thought held a doctorate from the University of Utah received the degree thanks to a paperwork mistake and that he never even graduated.

Patterson died from throat cancer on July 10. KSL-TV reports he wrote his own death notice in the first person last fall.

The light-hearted obituary published in the Salt Lake Tribune also includes a confession to stealing a business’ safe. He wrote: “As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971.”

His widow, Mary Jane, told KSL-TV the confessions are true.

The obituary has made national news for its unusual candor and humor.

To read the full obituary, click here.

To read the “confessions” part of the obituary, see below:

“Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest.

“Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn’t even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters “PhD” even stood for.

“For all of the Electronic Engineers I have worked with, I’m sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work.

“Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again. To Disneyland – you can now throw away that “Banned for Life” file you have on me, I’m not a problem anymore – and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.”