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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Nothing Says "I Love You" Like a Homemade Casket

From the Jackson Hole (Wy.) Star Tribune:

Carpenter makes casket for his still-alive granny

By JOHANNA LOVE
Jackson Hole News & Guide Tuesday, July 05, 2005

JACKSON (AP) -- Jackson carpenter Lance Scofield has been pounding nails since he was old enough to wield a hammer, but the most meaningful project he's built is a casket for his grandmother.

She's just not ready for it yet.

Afton Whitworth, 94, is a "Jeopardy" whiz, a crossword puzzle aficionado and a great-grandmother to 21 children.

[snip]

Last year, Whitworth's children encouraged her to move to Meridian, Idaho, to be closer to them. The matriarch had one condition: Whitworth wants to be put to rest in Dillon, where she lived since the late 1920s.

"You'll take me back to Dillon when I'm ready to go," Whitworth recalled telling her son-in-law, Bob Wolf. "Prop me up and put a hat on my head, and drive like heck to get me home."

For the privilege of having "Grammy" near them for her twilight years, Wolf agreed.

While preparing to leave her ranch in Dillon for an independent living facility in Idaho, last year, Whitworth arranged all the details of her funeral. She was prepared to go ahead and buy the coffin, but Scofield, one of her eight grandchildren, glimpsed the slick brochure and wanted her to have a more personal send-off.

"I said, 'Grandma, you don't have to buy a coffin, I'll build you one,"' Scofield said.

[snip]

The family always has had a sense of humor, Lance Scofield said, and matters of death are no exception. "I have to be lighthearted about it," he said.

Even Whitworth jokes about a photo opportunity with the casket.

"I'm not going to get in it until I have to," she said.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]
For the end of this story, read William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.

Judith Gail

I just noticed you visited my blog "Genealogy Traces" a few minutes ago. Thanks for stopping by.

I really enjoyed your account of "Grammy's" plans for her burial. It brought to mind my mother's last trek back to Blackfoot, Idaho, in 1998. My step-father was buried there with other members of his Rowbury family and she made us kids promise her we would take her back to be placed beside him when her time came. That is what we did. We had 2 services, one in Texas and the other in Blackfoot. My husband always teased her about getting a flatbed and decorating it with crepe paper for the journey! She loved it. Thanks for your neat posting. I enjoy reading your blog.

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