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King of Beers, King of Funerals

The King of Beers became the King of Funerals, but just for one day.

"It all worked out beautiful,' says Jackie Wesley. "I gave him what he asked for."

Indeed. Jackie Wesley is describing her brother's unique funeral services in Maringouin, Louisiana which has made national news. Leon Wesley was buried in a Budweiser casket on Saturday, Sept. 8. He requested the specially-made casket because Budweiser was his favorite drink.

Budweiser was dominant throughout the funeral services. The family wore Budweiser T-shirts. The flower spray will filled with beer and a red cups which he normally drink out of.   A local company donated  the T-shirts along with 20 cases of beer.

Leon’s casket was specially ordered to fit his long frame and covered with the log of his well known drink of choice, Budweiser beer.

One clerk store clerk remembers the man they called “Bin Laden” because of his long beard, saying, ” “He would come into the store, buy his beer and cigarettes and that’s it.”

Leon’s sister, Jackie Wesley, is a funeral director in Louisiana, and says, “We just gave him what he asked for.”

Jackie is no stranger to a personalized funeral service:

“One family years ago wanted their father in a bed. So we brought in a bed, with his pajamas and robe on. With a Butterfinger in his hands,” Wesley said.

Leon whose nickname was Bin Laden died on Sept. 2 after battling prostate cancer. Wesley who runs a funeral home promised to honor his dying wish.


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  • djackson

    Pretty neat story. This is what personalization should be about, celebrating the person’s life and their lifestyle choices, not just up-selling trinkets like fancy corners or commemorative inside panels on caskets under the guise of personalization.

    Smart FDs know that this type of life celebration is only going to increase in popularity as Boomers start to pass away, but instead of actively promoting this personalized life celebration option to families many FDs are just complaining about the rising rate of cremation and shrinking margins.

    Get with the future (program) folks and stop looking in the mirror at what is behind. The good old days of easy, cookie-cutter funerals are rapidly fading and the Leon Wesleys of the world will make sure they don’t return. Moving forward, the Boomers are not going to want a sad and boring funeral like they had for Grandad they lived life on their terms and they are going to want to go out on their terms and that will include lifestyle choices like music, hobbies and the stuff that they pursued with passion during their lifetime.

    If you really want to stand out from your competitors and have people in your community talking about the unique services you offer, all you have to do is get creative and put on your own Leon Wesley-type of life celebration and put the person back into personalization! Guaranteed that your extra effort will pay off in the long run.

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