Billy Standley died of lung cancer at the age of 82. But his burial was unique, for Billy was interred sitting astride his favorite Harley-Davidson in a custom made plexiglass coffin.
Clad in full motorcycle leathers, and with his trademark aviator style sunglasses is how this biker will meet his maker.
His family honored his dying wish so that Billy’s last ride would be on his 1967 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Cruiser.
For years the man from Mechanicsburg, Ohio, said that he didn’t just want to ride off to heaven. He wanted to make sure the world saw him do it in a big see-through box.
He prepared well in advance by buying three large burial plots next to his wife, Lorna, so the hole would be big enough.
The plexiglass casket was made by his sons Pete and Roy. They made it really strong by reinforcing the bottom with wood and metal. And to guarantee that Mr Standley wouldn’t fall off on his final journey, embalmers supported his body with a metal back brace and straps.
Tammy Vernon, a worker at the funeral home said, “We’ve done personalization … but nothing this extreme,” according to Dayton Daily News.
He added, “He was the one who kept throwing this idea out there, to be buried on his bike. We were glad to assist him.”
The family understood that the procession to the cemetery, with the body on display, might have shocked some onlookers, but they wanted to honor their father’s last wish.
“He’d done right by us all these years, and at least we could see he goes out the way he wanted to,”Pete Standley said. Billy’s daughter, Dorothy, described her father as “a quirky man,”
Billy Standley once worked as a bareback rodeo rider, in what was obviously a far from regular life. The plan was for him to be escorted to his far from regular burial by a procession of bikers.
Mourners at his graveside, in a symbolic gesture, donned motorcycle jackets as they watched the extra large coffin containing the Harley-Davidson and its rider lowered for its final burial.