A Funeral Home Displayed a Vietnam Vet’s Body Without a Coffin Over a Payment Dispute

We asked him to be shown, but I didn’t realize they were going to bring him out on the table like that.

May 16, 2017
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Originally Posted on Miami Herald

A dispute over payment led to a deceased Vietnam War veteran’s body being placed on a gurney — not in a coffin — during his visitation at a funeral home in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, according to pictures posted by his family members.

George Luther Taylor died on May 8. The Army veteran was 71, according to his obituary.

Taylor’s family told WTVC that there was a problem with his life insurance payment and the funeral home refused to put his body in a coffin. Rather, he was placed on a gurney and partially covered with an American flag with an towel under his head, according to a photo posted on Facebook. Taylor’s son James told WTVC that he felt it was a disgrace.

The funeral home said they did what the family asked. The hangup was over $9,000, according to the family.

“We asked him to be shown, but I didn’t realize they were going to bring him out on the table like that, open,” James Taylor told WRBC. “I was hoping that they would cover it up a little bit more … it was a disrespect to my dad.”

A photo of the scene was posted to Facebook, attracting more than 2,100 shares and nearly 1,000 comments.

Ella Moss, who posted the original message, posted a follow-up message, claiming that the director of Heritage Funeral Home and the family had come to an agreement and alluding to the funeral home receiving death threats. Heritage Funeral Home told WTVC that it had received death threats after the news hit social media. According to WTVC, Taylor’s body was placed in a coffin in time for the funeral service and burial.

Heritage posted a tribute video to Taylor, who was buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee with military honors on Friday.

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