Funeral Organizers Share the Strangest Funerals They’ve Ever Organized

©Unsplash,Rhodi Lopez

You definitely have to be a certain kind of person to work in the funeral business.

I’d imagine it takes someone who is calm, collected, and is able to comfort others and make them feel welcome during very hard times.

Obviously, you also have to be very accommodating and make the family members of deceased people happy when it comes to what they want for their loved one’s funeral.

Folks on AskReddit who work in the funeral industry talked about the strangest and most unique funerals they’ve ever witnessed.

1. Wow…

“A family asked us to play some hardcore gangster rap for their mother/grandmother at her service and we happily obliged. I can’t quite remember the name of the song but it had heavy themes of murder, drug use and pretty foul language.

Her service was then finished with a recital of the Lord’s Prayer.”

2. Family tradition.

“Long line of funeral directors.

My great grandfather buried a lady that was over 8 feet talk and worked as a performer for the circus. He had to use an oversized display model for the casket and sat on the coffin for seats (horses back then). Buried the whole site with concrete to keep out grave robbers.

Heard she was a really nice lady.”

3. I’d like to see this.

“A “Viking” funeral.

Putting the ashes of the deceased out to sea in a little boat fashioned out of salt and covered with dry flowers/kindling. Fashioning biodegradable arrows with flaming tips. Everyone shot flaming arrows at the boat and it caught fire then dissolved into the sea.

(Now to be clear, Vikings never did any of this but Hollywood gave people ideas…)

Apparently I am not the first, but it was cool. Put the “fun” back in “funeral.””

4. Whatever you want.

“Former funeral director.

Usually ran the back of the house but met with families on a few occasions. Met with the parents of a 16 year old girl who had died in a car crash. Arrangements were tough at first because how could they not be. We got the official stuff out of the way and then talked about what she (the deceased) would’ve wanted.

Ended up re-arranging the funeral home so that the lobby had crock pots of boiled peanuts and a lounge with the Lion King playing. Inside the main parlor was a purple-themed dance party. The pinnacle of the evening was the girl’s mom leading everyone in doing “the wiggle.”

It was amazing and I am still floored by this family for being able to really celebrate their daughter’s life in this way.”

5. Couldn’t get the timing right.

“Some retired admiral died, and his wife “insisted” that a group of F-18s perform a flyover during the service. Well, this was extremely difficult to pull off, for numerous reasons.

Anyway, the owner of the funeral home was able to make it happen. Unfortunately, the flyover was roughly 2-3 minutes earlier then scheduled.

The wife was so mad that she tried to withhold paying.”

6. Big fan.

“I’m hired frequently to play violin at funerals.

Not sure it qualifies as weird, but it was definitely unique.

Woman died in her late 80’s. Her entire family was there, including 3 or 4 great grandkids even. She had a big family and was well liked in her community, so there was about 100-150 people there. Everyone was dressed super nice, and from talking to everyone, it was clear no one knew what was coming…

Turns out, their grandmother was a huge LotR fan. So, she had a Lord of the Rings themed funeral, with me playing ‘Concerning Hobbits’, ‘Gandalfs’ fall, and the like. It was fun, but the shock on everyone’s faces was hilarious!”

7. Gone fishin’.

“Been in the industry 20 years, my family for over 125 years. The most interesting one I personally organized was a young guy in his early 20’s who loved to fish.

So we put him in his canoe for the viewing/service, and he was cremated later. The service was at a church, the canoe was way too big for the hearse.

The lesson to take away is: You never know exactly whats in a U-Haul.”

8. Human taxidermy?

“Not a funeral organizer, but I work with someone in that business.

I thought everyone was joking until I actually saw the pictures. They had a guy whose family wanted him staged and posed for the viewing.

Like instead of an open casket laying peacefully, they literally had him mounted on his motorcycle in full gear: leather jacket, backwards hat, sunglasses. It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen, like it gave me human taxidermy vibes.”

9. Very weird.

“So this is not a weird thing that happened, it’s rather the community. I’m not an organizer myself, but my dad is and I help out sometimes.

I’m living in Germany and we have some kind of remainder of the 3rd reich called Reichsbürger. Just google them, some crazy people…

So usually the are distributed, but for their comrade who recently passed they gathered together to about 50 people. It was so surreal that something like this still exists and is even allowed to do so. I didn’t know about this before and I think I’ll never forget about it.”

10. Surreal.

“I was a Licensed funeral director and embalmer in numerous states but this event happened in Miami Florida a woman Jewish woman with substantial money died in Miami Beach, we brought to the funeral home and embalmed her( more to this) we did a typical service Rabbi in the House and was going to be a graveside Service.

Days prior to that though the woman’s dream of dying was to go be buried in her Mercedes Benz 1984 convertible so we brought the Mercedes to the cemetery and measured and calculated how deep how wide to get the Mercedes 6 feet under and with her in the driver seat and embalmed with her hands and arms stretched out and around the steering wheel.

I looked in and it was so bizarre and surrealI and I will never experience that again mainly because I’m not a funeral director anymore.

Anyway the grave was covered up everybody said their goodbyes and I imagine to this day she’s still there driving around.”

11. This is…odd…

“One was a “Wizard of Oz”-themed funeral, where the deceased woman had loved the original movie and requested that music from it be used.

Pall bearers and friends of the family dressed in costumes of the principal characters as they entered the church, including dozens of Munchkins, Toto, and the Witch.

There wasn’t a dry eye after the eulogy when the soloist sang “Over the Rainbow,” but many smiles as the coffin was carried out of the church en route to the cemetery as everyone sang “We’re Off to See the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!”

12. Skateboarding is life.

“An older, well known, local skater died and we held a Skate Funeral. Hung his board, pads and helmet on the fence.

A good friend of his eulogized him. Some other folks told some stories about him. After that we all pounded our boards on the pavement in synch for about 5 minutes, chanting his name and his various handles.

Skated hard to his favorite bands and passed the hat for his family…I have been to much worse funerals.”

13. Start your engines.

“My parents are pastors and I would help them out occasionally. One guy had a NASCAR themed funeral.

The coffin had headlights and in the middle of the service, the kids in attendance got to slap stickers onto the coffin.

They also played car noises as the pallbearers moved the coffin.”

14. In the Deep South.

“Was a funeral director in the Deep South for about 4 years. We did quite a few Free Mason funeral services and they were always quite interesting to watch. Especially when the Free Mason brotherhood came to perform their burial rites.

Had a lady who died and as per her request she only wanted Lynyrd Skynyrd music playing(sweet home Alabama,Free Bird etc.)in the chapel during the wake and before and after the eulogy was given.

Did a funeral for a convicted pedophile that spent the last 40 years in prison and died while in it due to natural causes. Was odd to witness just 4 people show up for funeral service.”

15. In pieces.

“My dad was a funeral director in a small town.

One day, a guy called and said, I’m going to be dropping off my foot this afternoon. He was like, what?

The guy was diabetic and had to get his foot amputated. He had already purchased a burial plot in a local cemetery, and wanted his foot to be buried there with the rest of him to follow eventually.

Sure enough, the guy came in a wheelchair with a bug bundle containing his foot. He insisted that my dad embalm it. So, he did. It was then buried in his plot.

About a year later, the guy calls up again. “I’m going to be bringing over my leg, I need you to embalm it and have it buried.” Apparently his diabetes had continued to progress, and they had to amputate the leg opposite of the one that was missing its foot. So, my dad dutifully embalmed it and arranged for it to be buried.

About another year or so goes by, and the man finally dies.

My dad embalmed him and saw to it that he was buried with the rest of the parts which preceded him in death.”

Wow…I don’t think that’s an industry I’d be comfortable working in AT ALL.

Now we want to hear from you.

In the comments, please tell us about any unusual funerals you’ve been to.

We look forward to hearing from you!