If an angler makes his exit from Earth, a motor boat hearse is the only natural way to go.
We’re often asked questions like “How do you want to die?” or “What do you want your funeral to be like?” (well, as often as you might expect to be asked morbid questions about your own doom) and we never quite know what sort of answer is appropriate.
Is there such a thing as a good way to go? Does it really matter to us what our funeral will look like? I mean, we know we’ll be in attendance, but we won’t exactly be enjoying the festivities in the traditional sense of the words.
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With all of that said, however, if I had to plan my own funeral, then I think showing up in my fishing boat would be a pretty good tribute to the life I’ve led.
That’s precisely what happened with a 78-year-old Pennsylvania man after he passed away in early January. The man, one Ronald Bloss Sr. had long been known as a lover of the outdoors world, just as most of us hunters and anglers consider ourselves to be.
Reports indicate that Bloss lived in Mount Wolf, PA and spent most of his time outdoors – hunting game, catching fish, and spending time exploring the rivers of the state of Pennsylvania on one of his several boats. From the sounds of it, Mr. Bloss Sr. lived quite the fulfilling life.
The passing of any person is a sad event, and funerals are justifiable fixtures of sadness and mourning. However, sadness for sadness’ sake isn’t enough: funerals should also be celebratory. They should give the dead a send-off that is respectful and reverent of that person’s memory, and they should give mourners a chance to smile at the quirks and passions of their lost loved one. Such is what happened for Bloss, whose family decided that a traditional hearse would not be an appropriate vehicle to deliver the casket to the funeral home and graveyard.
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Instead, Bloss’s family decided to deliver the man and his casket aboard one of his beloved motorboats. One of Ronald’s five sons drove the pick-up truck, hauling a boat trailer, a motorboat, and Bloss’s casket to the cemetery. It was one final nautical adventure for a man who probably would have lived on his boat if it had been convenient. Bloss was also a Navy veteran: clearly his life revolved around boats, so it was only appropriate that his funeral would be given the same theme.
For Michael Gladfelter, the director of the funeral home that oversaw the farewell ceremony for Ronald Bloss Sr., the quirky boat delivery was perfect in all ways but one. Gladfelter merely lamented that he hadn’t had time to make a “Gone Fishing” sign to hang on the side of the boat, a gesture the funeral home director believes would have been incredibly poetic and ideal.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the funeral home didn’t have a “Gone Fishing” sign anywhere, probably because Bloss is the only person Gladfelter can ever remember being shuttled to his final resting point by boat.