(ED: Updated with video.)
Billie Leo Standley died last weekend from lung cancer, but before he died, the 82-year-old wished for the world to know he was going to ride off to heaven. To accomplish this wish, Standley and his family made arrangements for him to buried in a Plexiglas casket riding his 1967 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide.
Warning: A graphic photograph of Standley in his casket can be viewed
on the Dayton Daily Times website.
Standley had long told people he wanted to be buried on his bike, and he began making arrangements several years ago, long before he was diagnosed with lung cancer this past Christmas. The first step was to purchase three burial plots next to where his late wife Lorna was interred. The space was necessary for the 9 foot by 11 foot casket he needed to hold his Harley.
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Keeping it a family affair, Standley’s sons Pete and Roy constructed the Plexiglas casket from a septic tank, reinforcing the bottom with wood and steel rods. The casket was completed about five years ago, and it sat in Standley’s garage where he was eager to show it to visitors.
“If you stopped by his house, he showed you his casket,” Roy Standley tells the Daytona Daily News. “He was proud of it.”
After he passed away, Standley’s body was prepared by Vernon Funeral Homes Inc. It took five embalmers to prepare Standley’s body and secure him with straps and a metal brace to keep him sitting upright on the Electra Glide’s seat. Standley was dressed in full leather riding gear including a helmet, and placed into the casket with several trophies. Motorcyclists were invited to join in Standley’s final ride from the funeral home to his final resting place at Skillman, McDonald & Vernon Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg, Ohio.
Ride on, Billie. Ride on.
[Source: Daytona Daily News]