Posted by Tony O’Shea, Funeral Planning & Life Insurance Expert
You may think that a funeral is a very straightforward day – the deceased is buried or cremated, a service is held, and following that, the relatives and friends often attend a wake. However, for some people, this just wasn’t the right way to celebrate their lives. Read on to find out about some unusual funerals that people have had…
If you are planning a funeral or organising a funeral for a loved one, it is unlikely that you have considered burying them with their beloved motorbike or using their casket as a bowling ball. However, there are some people who want to go out in character, reflecting their lives in a different way, and that’s what we are going to explore in this blog.
When Miriam Banks passed away, her family knew they would miss her energy at parties – she was really the life and soul. So, in order to honour her memory at her funeral, her daughters decided that, instead of being placed in a coffin, Miriam would recreate a party scene which would be familiar to her family and friends.
She was placed at a table, with a cigarette in one hand and her favourite tipples in the other – beer and whiskey. This scene was accompanied by Miriam’s favourite R&B music and spinning disco balls to really set the scene.
While the electric slide is a dance move more commonly seen at weddings, Billy Standley’s funeral featured something with a very similar name – his 1967 Electra Glide motorcycle. During the last three years of his life, Billy planned just how to incorporate his motorcycle into his funeral and decided that he would like to be buried on it.
This involved buying a total of three burial plots and designing a Plexiglas casket which allowed Billy and his beloved motorcycle to be lowered into his grave; Billy resplendent in his leather biking gear and helmet.
If someone mentioned Count Dracula, Bela Lugosi may come to mind. As the original actor of the villainous vampire, his name definitely became synonymous with the horror. Unfortunately, this leads to typecasting and he never really found another defining role beyond the Count.
When he died in 1956, his son and third wife, Lillian Arch, made sure he was buried in the Dracula cape that he always kept for appearances.
While alive, publicist Michael O’Connor Clarke was a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. So, when he passed away in 2012, his good friend Matthew Ingram decided that, in order to honour his friend’s love of Twitter, he would live tweet the entirety of Michael’s memorial service.
While he lost a few followers, he also received a lot of support from Michael’s family in Ireland. He said “I thought it would be fitting to live tweet Michael’s funeral because of his interest in such things, but I also thought he would have seen the humour in it if he had been alive. I didn’t count on seeing an additional benefit, however, which was the ability to share what was happening with others who couldn’t attend”.
Matching bowling league shirts are an unusual choice of attire at a regular funeral, but definitely not at Judy Sunday’s. She was an avid bowler during her life, so her family decided that the perfect place to hold her memorial would be at her favourite bowling alley.
To commemorate her love of the activity, they spelt out “RIP Judy” on bowling pins and then knocked them down with her casket, mounted on a dolly.
If you would like to make sure that your funeral is truly reflective of your personality, why not consider taking out a prepaid funeral plan? That way you can specify every detail and make sure the funeral is exactly how you would wish it to be, leaving your loved ones with a guide when the time comes.
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