Latham man died of lung cancer uses his own obituary to encourage smokers to quit


Latham, N.Y. – A 66-year-old man from the Albany region who died earlier in February issued a warning with his last words in his own obituary.

"I was an idiot who made the same stupid decision, day after day, several times a day," reads the first line of the obituary, according to the Times Union. "I was a smoker and even though I knew it might eventually kill me, I chose to deny myself the truth."

The man, Geoff Turner of Latham, urged smokers to quit now. He died on February 13 and his obituary was published Saturday in the Albany Times Union.

Sarah Huiest, Turner's daughter, told the Times Union that her father had asked her to grab her laptop earlier this month. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November and Huiest had guessed that his request could be related to his funeral plans.

Turner has smoked most of his life, Huiest said, according to the newspaper.

"It was all the truth, but it was extremely self-deprecating," she said about the obituary, according to the Times Union. "He was taking his responsibilities, and by reading it, I do not think I've ever been so proud of him."

Turner is survived by his 41-year-old wife, five children and four grandchildren. He wrote in his obituary that he had lived a decent life, but that he would miss many milestones and family events.

"The pain and suffering that I caused to my family was not worth the perceived" satisfaction "that was really wasting money, separating me from my family and eventually destroying my body," wrote Turner.

Turner's wife, Josie, told WNYT in Albany that her husband had tried to quit on his own several times, but that he had never been able to stop for good.

"If his words can have an impact on the fact that a person turns off a cigarette and leads a healthier life, it's worth it," said Josie Turner, according to WNYT. "I hope it happens."

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