Years before Billy Standley died on Sunday, he planned out every detail of his funeral: He bought up the three plots next to his wife's grave, had his sons build him a custom casket, and arranged for the funeral director to embalm him in a sitting position. Earlier today, Standley's dream funeral took place, and he was laid to rest atop his beloved Harley-Davidson.
Standley first came up with the idea 18 years ago and, with the help of his family, worked on it on and off for years. The casket was made out of plexiglass, with wood and steel rods reinforcing its bottom.
"If you stopped by his house, he showed you his casket," his son Roy Standley told the Dayton Daily News. "He was proud of it."
Dave and Tammy Vernon, co-owners of a funeral home, were tasked with the embalming process. "We've done personalization… but nothing this extreme," Tammy Vernon said.
From the Dayton Daily News:
Five embalmers prepared his body and secured him with a metal back brace and straps to ensure he'd never lose his seat on his beloved bike, even as it was towed by a trailer to his final resting place. The casket was assembled in the garage of Vernon's' funeral home in Mechanicsburg, enshrining him with his trophies and well-worn leathers.
Along with his friends and family, motorcyclists from across the country reportedly rode along with his funeral procession through Mechanicsburg, Ohio.
"He'd done right by us all these years, and at least we could see he goes out the way he wanted to," his son Pete Standley said.