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Fun-loving Rugby dad catches double decker bus - to his own funeral

Simon's final journey is done in style. (Photo: Co-op)
Simon's final journey is done in style. (Photo: Co-op)

Fun-loving Rugby man Simon Palladino raised a smile by catching a double decker bus – to his own funeral.

The stunt was arranged by his wife Jackie, who knew her beloved husband, who died suddenly aged 69, would want to give one final laugh.

She contacted Co-op Funeralcare in Rugby, who granted her request of a custom-made original London Transport double-decker hearse.

Simon's lakeside coffin. (Photo: Co-op)
Simon's lakeside coffin. (Photo: Co-op)

“Simon always had a brilliant sense of humour,” Jackie said.

“I knew that he would have wanted his funeral to be light-hearted and would have laughed at the thought of being taken to the service on a double-decker.

“It’s far from traditional and so I worried that it might not be possible, but our family and the team at Co-op Funeralcare helped to ensure everything came together.”

The double-decker bus, specifically modified for funeral use, was sourced by Jackie’s daughter-in-law, Rita. Having been a keen fisherman, Simon was placed in a picture coffin depicting lakeside imagery before being transported to the ceremony on the lower deck of the bus.

Simon's final journey - in a double decker bus. (Photo: Co-op)
Simon's final journey - in a double decker bus. (Photo: Co-op)

Jackie said: “The day was just wonderful.”

Rugby Funeral Arranger Mike Wheeldon said he had never organised a funeral like it before.

He said: “It was certainly a unique funeral to put together and a first for me - I’ve seen horses and motorcycles before, but never a double decker bus. That really is the beauty of arranging such a special occasion for families, everything is personal, and you’re given the chance to organise some extraordinary services.

“We so often believe that funerals need to be sombre occasions that include a traditional black hearse with a wooden coffin, but, more so in recent times, people are starting to move away from tradition and opt for something that is more in line with their loved one’s personality.

Simon's final journey. (Photo: Co-op)
Simon's final journey. (Photo: Co-op)

“Choosing something a little different can also make the occasion more light-hearted, not as daunting and help many through the grieving process. Simon’s funeral did exactly that, it was testament to his great sense of humour and gave everyone exactly what they needed – a good laugh.”