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Harley burial: Dead man drives motorcycle above casket, honoring a 'last wish'

Man being driven in a see-through casket box
Man being driven in a see-through casket box
Web Pro News Photo, Twitter File Image

A Harley burial took place this week, and while one motorcycle-loving man’s last request may have been a strange one, it was nonetheless honored by his family. Billy Standley had asked his loved ones to bury him with an item that he said kept him feeling young, happy, and courageous throughout his life: a blue 1967 Electra Glide motorcycle. Web Pro News shares this Friday, Jan. 29, 2014, that Vernon Funeral Homes Inc. worked hard to accommodate a see-through box and casket that would showcase both the deceased man and his prized ride on the way to the gravesite.

The Harley burial was something that Pete Standley, the son of Billy, said his father would have been so very proud of and grateful for as his final “ride.” He added that his father was a good man over the years, and the family felt they owed it to him to respect his last request. Nothing less would do.

“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 noted in terms to the very unique funeral of his deceased father. Billy’s body was carefully placed on top of a classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle inside a see-through box and above the movable casket.

As seen in the above photo, Standley can be seen driving proudly even as a dead man with his beloved 1967 Electra Glida. His family had him wearing a black leather outfit, smooth-fitting glasses, and his favorite white helmet for the Harley burial. Some of the 82-year-old man’s last words were said to be his wishes to “ride off to heaven” with his ‘cycle. The clear box and casket were additional touches the family felt were necessary for this special drive.

Billy Standley was said to have passed away this year due to the advanced stages of lung cancer. A man born and raised in Ohio, he was laid to his final resting place this Friday, Jan. 24, followed by friends, family, and other loved ones in an outside funeral procession.

The press release on this unique Harley burial adds that this wasn’t simply a last-minute wish, either, but something that the now dead man had specifically gone over with his family years and years in advance, asking that they would let him go out driving and honor his “last wish.”

“Prior to his death, Standley anticipated the thought of knowing that his family and friends would someday see him fixed on one of his most prized possessions. An 18-year-long burial idea, which then manifested into an actual project, set in the garage of his home for five years. Standley’s two sons, Pete and Roy, helped build the Plexiglas casket made of wood and steel. The family noted that he was very proud of his customized casket and used to show it off to visiting guests.”

“He was a quirky man,” daughter Dorothy Brown admitted to a local news source, crying and smiling. “But when it comes to us kids, he loved us, he raised us well and, of course, we wanted to help him.”

It was Vernon Funeral Homes Inc. that worked to make this special burial process possible. They revealed that this was their very first excessive personalization, but they were happy to be able to accommodate the Stanley family, adding that officials were able to modify the grave’s overall dimensions so that it would be able to fit the casket, Harley Davidson motorcycle, and its deceased driver.

Talk about going out in style.

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