Val Patterson died from throat cancer on July 10, and his self-penned obituary was published in The Salt Lake Tribune last week.
The obituary detailed that Patterson received his doctorate from the University of Utah because of an organisational mistake, and that he did not even graduate.
"I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971," he confessed.
"I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest."
He added: "Also, I really am NOT a PhD... I only had about three years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters 'PhD' even stood for."
KSL-TV reports that Patterson wrote the obituary last autumn after learning of his cancer diagnosis.
While friends and family were apparently surprised, his widow Mary Jane Kater confirmed that everything said in the obituary was true.