CATCHING the bus to your own funeral may seem a little unfair – but it was exactly the send-off one man from Rugby received.
When Simon Palladino, 69, died suddenly, his wife Jackie knew that a traditional, subtle send off just wouldn’t do.
Determined to give her fun-loving husband ‘one last laugh’, she decided to organise for him to catch a double-decker bus to his own funeral.
She said: “Simon always had a brilliant sense of humour!
“I knew that he would have wanted his funeral to be light-hearted and would have laughed at the thought of being taken to the service on a double-decker.
“It’s far from traditional and so I worried that it might not be possible, but everything came together, and the day was just wonderful!”
A custom-made original London Transport double-decker hearse, specifically modified for funeral use, was sourced by Jackie’s daughter-in-law, Rita.
Having been a keen fisherman, Simon was placed in a picture coffin depicting lakeside imagery before being transported to the ceremony on the lower deck of the bus.
Unsurprisingly, Rugby Funeral Arranger Mike Wheeldon of Co-op Funeralcare in Regent Street said he had never organised a funeral like it before.
He said: “It was certainly a unique funeral to put together and a first for me – I’ve seen horses and motorcycles before, but never a double decker bus. That really is the beauty of arranging such a special occasion for families, everything is personal, and you’re given the chance to organise some extraordinary services.
“We so often believe that funerals need to be sombre occasions that include a traditional black hearse with a wooden coffin, but, more so in recent times, people are starting to move away from tradition and opt for something that is more in line with their loved one’s personality.
“Choosing something a little different can also make the occasion more light-hearted, not as daunting and help many through the grieving process. Simon’s funeral did exactly that, it was testament to his great sense of humour and gave everyone exactly what they needed – a good laugh.”