According to an obituary in a local Florida paper, a huge comic book fan named Stephen Merrill died the way he lived. The obit lists the cause of death as an "uppercut from Batman." Yes, that Batman — The Dark Knight.
Family and friends published the obituary in The Ledger, a local paper from Lakeland, Florida, last week. After Merrill's sudden death on February 12th at the age of 31, the family didn't know what to write as the cause of death — one had not yet been officially determined. He had been fighting cancer since 2013.
"It made the situation easier to deal with."
Local ABC affiliate WFTS reports that one of the friends suggested the comic book-worthy death as a joke, and it caught on. "He would have been honored to have died by an uppercut from Batman," said the deceased's fiancée, Stephanie Vella. A close friend added: "It was worth it for the family. It was the only time the family was able to laugh in days ... We were all laughing, and it made the situation easier to deal with."
Merrill's cause of death wasn't the only part of his life ripped from the pages of fictional worlds. Every day, he reported to work at a retail store call The Big Shop in Legoland. Merrill worked in a world full of toys, where Lego came to life.
His coworkers even sent the family a Lego gift after learning of Merrill's death. He had been known as "Bread," so they made no less than a loaf of bread out of Lego to honor his death. At the funeral, friends and family wore superhero T-shirts, and a large flower arrangement was made to resemble Captain America's shield. The funeral program also included a quote from The Avengers film, reports WFTS.