Skip to main content

'I’ve got a lot to say': Retired MN sheriff's deputy writes his own obituary

Tim Yerigan died November 14 at the age of 57.

By his own admission, Tim Yerigan was "never without words." So it's only fitting that the longtime sheriff's deputy would use his final ones to say goodbye.

The Granite Falls resident died November 14 at the age of 57 after a battle with cancer. His passing came about two years after he retired from the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff's Office, which he had served for 30 years.

But he left something unusual behind: a self-written obituary that serves as both autobiography and love letter — to his wife, to his children and grandchildren. 

"My life has been quite a journey," it begins. "Like in life, I’ve got a lot to say." 

The obit, which can be found on the Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home's website, goes through Yerigan's early life in Cambridge, Minnesota, and details the path that eventually led him to law enforcement in Yellow Medicine County. In addition to his work as a sheriff's deputy there, he also served as court security director and emergency management director.

"This was among my greatest accomplishments," he added. 

That may be so, but the bulk of Yerigan's goodbye letter belongs to his family.

Joining the sheriff’s office brought me to Granite Falls. That is where the best thing in my life happened. I met and married Tan. She was the love of my life. We built our life in rural Granite Falls, on our small farm, and raised our five children together. I never knew what love was, or could be, before her. She was my best friend. All I ever wanted to do was be with her, take care of her, and make her happy. And we were so happy! Every day, I looked forward to being with her and spending another day together in some way, whether at home sipping a cup of coffee or off on some amazing adventure. Oh, my sweetheart, there were so many. With Tan, it was no longer just me. We became one. There was no longer a mine or me, but rather us, we, and ours. If something was for me, it was for her. Tan, never forget: “When I count my blessings, I count you twice.” 

He goes on to talk about the five kids they had together, one of whom, Clint, died in 2006. 

It was our greatest honor in life to raise our five children together. We enjoyed time at home for family suppers and fun. We also loved it when we were at the cabin, in one big house, together again. Whether fishing, sitting around a campfire, or all piled on the couch watching a movie, it was great. We loved weekends together in one house just like when you were little. Mom and I would just sit back and ooze with pride. I hope they each know the joy and honor it brought their mom and me to be blessed with each of them. They grew to become such outstanding adults who were not only our kids but also our friends. 

He concludes his obituary on a hopeful note:

Cancer ravaged my body, but don’t remember me like that. Remember me active. Remember my laugh, my smile, and the sparkle in my eyes. When they shut for the last time, which they must have by now, I can’t wait to be greeted at the gates by God. I will ask Him to allow me to continue to watch over Tan, our kids, and our grandkids. Once God and I are done, I will mess up Clint’s hair and give him the biggest hug. Until we meet again…see you later! 

Yerigan's wife, Tanya Yerigan, a professor of education at Southwest Minnesota State University, published a book in 2014 called "No Ordinary Son: A journey through death and living again" about the passing of her and Tim's son, Clint, who died at the age of 16. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 5.04.00 PM

David Arquette gives shoutout to MN's F1rst Wrestling on James Corden show

The Hollywood actor wrestled at at a F1rst Wrestling show at First Avenue in early 2019.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

6 charged in Black Friday mass thefts at Twin Cities Best Buys

The group stole from three Best Buy stores that afternoon, the charges say.

Nicollet County Bell Jan 2022 4

Thieves steal large bell from rural MN church, don't get far with it

The bell was found in a ditch with tow ropes around it.


COVID: More help coming to Minnesota hospitals, Walz says

More than 200 medical professionals are coming to help at short-staffed hospitals.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Suspect arrested after falling asleep in vehicle at rest stop

The man was sleeping in a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of an I-94 rest area.

DOminos pizza flickr mr blue maumau

Charges: Edina man threatened to shoot up Domino's Pizza

He claimed a delivery driver had flipped him off, the charges say.

carvana vending machine

Carvana seeking to build vehicle vending machine in Twin Cities

The online car dealership submitted a letter of intent to buy land in the metro to build a fulfillment center.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Coller: New Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah needs to be ruthless

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to make some big, difficult decisions, writes Matthew Coller.

Patrick Graham

Report: Vikings to interview Giants' Patrick Graham for head coach

Graham coached with the Patriots under Bill Belichick for six years.

floor and decor screengrab

Home brand plans 'flagship' store in Maple Grove AMC Theater space

This will be the company's first Minnesota location.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 28

The state is still in the process of catching up with 10,000 yet-to-be processed tests.

Bryan Acuna

Twins sign 16-year-old brother of Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr.

Bryan Acuna is one of the top international prospects, according to


Lt. Kent M. Vnuk

Hennepin Co. sheriff's lieutenant mourned after unexpected death

"Lt. Kent Vnuk was a colleague, leader, and most importantly a friend to so many."

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

John Ford

Viral obituary says man died after Vikes 'allowed 17 unanswered points'

The Plymouth man died after the Vikings blew another lead.

St. Paul DJ announces his own death after penning his obituary

Larry Englund was well known on the Twin Cities music scene.

Leah Ottman, aka LOTT

Acclaimed Minneapolis violinist and singer Leah Ottman dies at 33

She also performed as LOTT, the name of her solo project.