The resolution that would let real life write the plot would, in the fullness of time, have Doctor Joe Peterson reveal that he'd bribed Ted to write up a phony death certificate and cremate a large dog to stand in for him because he'd found retirement with Elly to be a stale farce, Anthony to be a cringing disappointment, Mike to be a massive tool and his life a jumbled mess of his own creation. Having gotten the sitcom family he'd always wanted got old super-fast because he'd finally realized he was pretty much the bad guy of the piece. Since they didn't need him stinking up the joint, he'd faked his death to free them from his oppressive presence.
The one I'd prefer to see is a situation in which we'd be dealing with something akin to the Thompson Twins from Tintin. What few people realize is that Herge once drew a panel that shows Thomson and Thompson with their families. Why this is important is that we're dealing with two men from wildly different origins who, for some reason, ended up sort of converging into looking like clones. They might look alike and talk alike and act alike but deep down, they aren't really alike. Peterson would thus simply look like John without being all that much like him. The moral there is that you can't really tell what a man is like based on his appearance.