91-year-old writes own obituary, asks for smiles instead of funeral

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LONGMONT, Colo. -- George Boivin wasn’t going to leave it up to someone else to decide how he’d be remembered.

The 91-year-old man penned his own obituary and arranged his own funeral plans before he died March 19.

The obituary was published in the Longmont Times-Call on Wednesday. It says:

“I have prepaid my funeral and decided that I would write my own obituary.

I am going to be cremated and my ashes will be buried in the family plot in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison, ME with my wife and daughter.

There will be no church, funeral or memorial service.

If you would like to honor my memory, take a close friend or relative out for coffee, lunch or dinner and SMILE, I will be there.

I have dedicated my retirement to making people smile. To do this I tell them I am going to use ESP to program their mind to smile every time they see my face.

As I will no longer be around, I have found a highly qualified replacement; every time you see his face you will think of ‘George’ and smile.

(A photo of a yellow smiley face appears next in the obituary.)

P.S. You have been programmed.”

“He was always one to pass out a smile, to invite someone to share a meal with him,” Nancy Liebing said.

Liebing has known Boivin since 2007, when she became the manager at Tanglewood Condominiums, a retirement community  in Longmont.

“Every time George would pay his rent he would bring a smiley face to us,” she said.

The staff put all of the stickers on display in the main office.

“And they’re still there. So we have been programmed,” Liebing said.

She said Boivin was a favorite among both residents and staff during his time living at Tanglewood. Originally from the East Coast, he moved to Colorado after his wife died.

According to Liebing, he liked to do woodworking, and he ate out for lunch and dinner every day in order to meet new people in the community.

“He always had a story and always wanted to listen to yours,” Liebing said. “He was just one that you always looked forward to seeing.”

She says Boivin moved to an assisted-living facility in Loveland in the summer of 2015.

He leaves behind grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews. However, strangers are now also sharing condolences for Boivin after reading his obituary.

“What a great way to leave such a widespread legacy,” Loveland resident Brian Melville said. “To be that in tune with what the world needs right now, I think that’s remarkable.

Boivin's final words are sending a message that seems to resonate differently with each person who reads them.

“It’s not just to die and give that smile on someone’s face. It’s do it every day,” Denver resident Casey Cardenas said.

“Being a little bit more happy oriented and smiley oriented, not worrying about all the little things is definitely a better way to go,” Red Frog Coffee barista Joshua Fernandez said. “To think of the smiling face every time I see it and remember that George wants me to smile.”

And his ESP definitely seems to be working.

“Did I smile? I think I did? I think it absolutely worked. And you guys are smiling now too,” Mellville said. “I’m programmed. Programmed. I’m going to smile.”

To share condolences with the family, visit ahlbergfuneralchapel.com.