An award-winning feature writer had one last poignant story to tell before his death.
Ken Fuson, a former reporter at the Des Moines Register and Baltimore Sun, wrote his own memorable obituary before dying on Jan. 3 from liver disease. He was 63.
Fuson's obituary in the Des Moines Register is filled with the wit and humor that colleagues said were his trademarks.
He wrote that he was the type of guy to give a stranger the shirt off his back, "even with the ever-present food stain. Thank goodness nobody asked. It wouldn't have been pretty."
Fuson also detailed the twists and turns of his career, from the Des Moines Register to the Baltimore Sun and back to Des Moines.
"In 1996, Ken took the principled stand of leaving the Register because The Sun in Baltimore offered him more money,'' the obituary reads.
The obituary also detailed the various awards Fuson won throughout his career.
"No, he didn't win a Pulitzer Prize, but he's dead now, so get off his back,'' it reads.
One of his most famous stories, titled "Ah, What a Day!", was a one-sentence, 400-word story about the weather from a warm day in March of 1995.
The obituary also talks about Fuson being diagnosed with liver disease, "which is pretty ironic given how little he drank. Eat your fruits and vegetables, kids."
The father of three also took a serious turn, writing that he suffered from a "compulsive gambling addiction that nearly destroyed him."
He placed his last bet in 2009 after seeking help through Gamblers Anonymous and his church. Throughout it all, he kept his trademark sense of humor.
"In lieu of flowers, Ken asked that everyone wear black armbands and wail in public during a one-year grieving period,'' the obituary reads. "If that doesn't work, how about donating a book to the public libraries in Granger or Indianola? Yes, this obituary is probably too long. Ken always wrote too long."
Daniel Finney, Fuson's former colleague at the Des Moines Register, wrote that well-told stories at the newspaper became known as "Fusonesque" in honor of his storytelling skill.
Finney also detailed Fuson's generosity in helping younger colleagues, eager journalism students and fellow gambling addicts, as well as his work to help others through his church.
"With our friend Fuson gone, we exhale with grief, for his words won't fill our pages again, but we know how real the sweet memories of his too-short life were,'' Finney wrote.