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View Full Version : Funerals of the morbidly obese


alphaboi867
12-13-2005, 01:57 AM
I was watching The 750lb Man on TLC. While they were showing how the nursing staff weight him I though of something; how do morticians handle "clients" of exceptional size? Do they make XXXL coffins? Do they have to somehow "deflate" the body? Can crematoria handle bodies that size, whole?

Tuckerfan
12-13-2005, 03:21 AM
There's a rather famous pair of twins who are/were obese (they were record holders at one point) and when one of them died, it was mentioned that he was buried in a coffin the size of a piano case. No idea if it was a custom job or not.

Measure for Measure
12-13-2005, 04:06 AM
A few details about the burial of Robert Earl Hughes are available here (http://bremenhistoricalsociety.org/landmarksf.htm).

That gentleman was discussed a couple of months ago (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=338515&highlight=piano+case).

Harvey The Heavy
12-13-2005, 08:17 AM
I work at a high volume mortuary, and we had a 980 pounder about six months ago. That's not a typo: 980 lbs! 36 y/o female. She was a direct cremation, but she had to be sent to an out of town creamatory because ours wasn't big enough. She was put on a wooden tray and cinched down with straps and still barely fit in. Took six of us to load her into the van.

Anyway, to answer the question, there are larger caskets that have to be special ordered. If the person is too big to fit in one of those, bigger ones can be custom made, but that can get quite pricey.

BTW, turns out the 980 pounder was a newlywed. I didn't see the guy but I'm told he weighed 150 pounds tops. My only question: "How?"

Sigene
12-13-2005, 08:30 AM
Not to sidetrack too much but....

I saw the show mentioned too. The cremains the wife was given didn't seem to be very big. I've handled cremains of a 200 pound person, and it seemed the boxes were similar in size. Did they not give all of the ashes to the woman, or is it correct that 200lb and 750lb people reduce down to roughly the same mass?

postcards
12-13-2005, 08:44 AM
Walter Hudson, of Long Island, dided in December of 1991 (I think). It was repoorted at the time that he weighed over 1,000 pounds, and his funeral was delayed for over a week while a casket was built for him.

Somewhere in my archives I have a photo of the hearse driving through the cemetery. Did you ever see a hearse hauling a trailer before? I hadn't, and now I'll have to rummage through my pictures to find the print. If I do, I'll post it.

For the record, the casket on the trailer was about eight or nine feet long by about as wide.

Mangetout
12-13-2005, 09:16 AM
Not to sidetrack too much but....

I saw the show mentioned too. The cremains the wife was given didn't seem to be very big. I've handled cremains of a 200 pound person, and it seemed the boxes were similar in size. Did they not give all of the ashes to the woman, or is it correct that 200lb and 750lb people reduce down to roughly the same mass?I could believe that they would; fat leaves very little solid waste behind when it burns (that's why tallow candles don't make ash). Of course the extra weight of a morbidly opbese person isn't all fat, because there will be extra connective tissue etc to support it all, but even so, I don't think it's all that surprising that the volume of ashes would be similar.

Shalmanese
12-13-2005, 09:28 AM
BTW, turns out the 980 pounder was a newlywed. I didn't see the guy but I'm told he weighed 150 pounds tops. My only question: "How?"

There are some people who are into big women. In fact, there is even a "feeder" sub-culture where men deliberately encourage their spouses to gain weight and then exhibit them to other feeders.

postcards
12-13-2005, 10:53 AM
...Somewhere in my archives I have a photo of the hearse driving through the cemetery. Did you ever see a hearse hauling a trailer before? I hadn't, and now I'll have to rummage through my pictures to find the print. If I do, I'll post it...

Found it!
Walter Hudson 01-02-92 (http://fff.fathom.org/pages/taojones/Walter%20Hudson%20RIP.jpg)

lisacurl
12-13-2005, 11:04 AM
Here's a story in Business Week (http://businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/nov2004/sb20041118_6433.htm) about the Goliath Casket Company and the no-longer-niche market of XXL coffins.

someone447
12-13-2005, 11:17 AM
There are some people who are into big women. In fact, there is even a "feeder" sub-culture where men deliberately encourage their spouses to gain weight and then exhibit them to other feeders.

Well, in many cultures around the world, the bigger the better. Maybe he was part of one of those cultures originally?

spingears
12-13-2005, 11:49 AM
I was watching The 750lb Man on TLC. While they were showing how the nursing staff weight him I though of something; how do morticians handle "clients" of exceptional size? Do they make XXXL coffins? WAG In Texas or is it Tennessee or some other state .....
First they knock all the wind out of the deceased.
Second they kick all the s..t out of him.
Third they bury him in a shoe box. :)

SnakesCatLady
12-13-2005, 11:51 AM
A friend of mine passed away recently, and against my better judgment I went to the viewing at the funeral home. He was a large man - not really obese, altho he had gained weight in recent years due to illness and lack of exercise - but tall and very broad shouldered. The coffin he was in was too small - my first thought upon seeing him was "oh he looks so uncomfortable!" It really bugged me! It looked as if they had to wedge his shoulders into the coffin.

Zsofia
12-13-2005, 02:23 PM
My dad's old boss died of a heart attack when I was a kid. He wasn't amazingly hugely obese like some of these people, but probably in the 300-400 pound range. (I remember when I was a little kid he used to sit me on his stomach and eat his peanuts and Diet Coke. I loved it.) My dad was a pallbearer and he says he has no idea how they did it, and that he'll never forgive the wimpy little guy on the other side of the casket. Evidently the casket was indeed a specialty item, but this was in the early 80's when there didn't seem to be quite so many hugely fat people around.

Shagnasty
12-13-2005, 02:49 PM
My family owns a cemetary. When I was 17, my father told me and my brother that we were going to be pallbearers for this person we had never met. The reason was that the recently deceased female weighed over 400 pounds and the men that were listed as the pallbearers were all much older relatives that other concerned family members were concerned couldn't support the weight and they didn't want an embarrassing incident. She was heavy allright although me, my brother, and one of my friends got the job done. We got out of school so it was well worth it.

FordPrefect
12-13-2005, 05:13 PM
I was a pallbearer when my grandma died and she must have been around 280 - 300 pounds. They decided to pick the oldest kid from each of the children's families. That made five guys and one woman who had never been a pall bearer before and to top it off someone decided to put her at the back. She actually thought we were going to drop her, said something to that effect and started to panic. I thought Granny was going ass over tea kettle. If I hadn't been concentrating so hard on keeping that damn coffin level I probably would have burst out laughing.

Eve
12-13-2005, 06:48 PM
Thank goodness . . . I thought from the thread title this was going to be about a new reality show . . .

Kalhoun
12-13-2005, 06:51 PM
I work at a high volume mortuary, and we had a 980 pounder about six months ago. That's not a typo: 980 lbs! 36 y/o female. She was a direct cremation, but she had to be sent to an out of town creamatory because ours wasn't big enough. She was put on a wooden tray and cinched down with straps and still barely fit in. Took six of us to load her into the van.

Anyway, to answer the question, there are larger caskets that have to be special ordered. If the person is too big to fit in one of those, bigger ones can be custom made, but that can get quite pricey.

BTW, turns out the 980 pounder was a newlywed. I didn't see the guy but I'm told he weighed 150 pounds tops. My only question: "How?"
The quintessential Chubby Chaser.

Kalhoun
12-13-2005, 06:54 PM
My family owns a cemetary. When I was 17, my father told me and my brother that we were going to be pallbearers for this person we had never met. The reason was that the recently deceased female weighed over 400 pounds and the men that were listed as the pallbearers were all much older relatives that other concerned family members were concerned couldn't support the weight and they didn't want an embarrassing incident. She was heavy allright although me, my brother, and one of my friends got the job done. We got out of school so it was well worth it.
Speaking of embarrassing incidents, we dropped my ex at his funeral. Not because he was obese, but because his widow was too cheap to get a box with handles (yes -- you can buy them without handles).

We laughed our asses off. You'd be surprised how uncontrollable the laughter is when the unthinkable happens.

Dewey Finn
12-13-2005, 06:59 PM
I'm surprised by the anecdotes of pallbearers actually carrying the coffin. Somehow, I got the idea that it was a mostly ceremonial thing now, and that the coffin was carried on a cart, with the pallbearers walking adjacent to it.

Moirai
12-13-2005, 08:24 PM
I really like how it looks when the pallbearers carry the casket by grasping the arm of the man across from them with the casket balanced on their shoulders, rather than by grasping the handles on the side.

Is that primarily a British thing? I recall seeing it done that way in several movies (Four Weddings and a Funeral comes to mind).

alphaboi867
12-13-2005, 09:37 PM
I'm surprised by the anecdotes of pallbearers actually carrying the coffin. Somehow, I got the idea that it was a mostly ceremonial thing now, and that the coffin was carried on a cart, with the pallbearers walking adjacent to it.
Every time I've been a pallbearer we lifted the coffin off a gurney to load in into the hearse and unloaded it from the hearse at the graveyard then carried to the lowering thing at the grave.

Bryan Ekers
12-13-2005, 09:59 PM
she had to be sent to an out of town creamatory

Did her fat rise to the top?

simian
12-13-2005, 10:01 PM
There are some people who are into big women. In fact, there is even a "feeder" sub-culture where men deliberately encourage their spouses to gain weight and then exhibit them to other feeders.

I remember from a doco we watched about weight in high school, apparently in some cultures, the bigger wife was a status symbol. Bigger Wife = More Food = Wealthier...

Harvey The Heavy
12-13-2005, 10:41 PM
Not to sidetrack too much but....

I saw the show mentioned too. The cremains the wife was given didn't seem to be very big. I've handled cremains of a 200 pound person, and it seemed the boxes were similar in size. Did they not give all of the ashes to the woman, or is it correct that 200lb and 750lb people reduce down to roughly the same mass?

Actually, the "ashes" you get back are really little more than ground up bone. Everything else, the tissue, fat and organs goes up the chimney.

jasonh300
12-13-2005, 11:50 PM
Found it!
Walter Hudson 01-02-92 (http://fff.fathom.org/pages/taojones/Walter%20Hudson%20RIP.jpg)

Looks like that hearse probably needed a new set of leaf springs when that was overwith. I wonder if those Caddy hearses come with a towing package.

Tuckerfan
12-13-2005, 11:57 PM
Looks like that hearse probably needed a new set of leaf springs when that was overwith. I wonder if those Caddy hearses come with a towing package.
Actually, I think that they do, since they have to haul a pretty heavy load (even an ordinary person can weigh a lot in certain ostentatious coffins) and travel at slow speeds for extended period of times. That can be as hard on a car as towing a trailer.

voicesinmyhead
12-14-2005, 12:03 AM
Walter Hudson, of Long Island, dided in December of 1991 (I think). It was repoorted at the time that he weighed over 1,000 pounds, and his funeral was delayed for over a week while a casket was built for him.

Somewhere in my archives I have a photo of the hearse driving through the cemetery. Did you ever see a hearse hauling a trailer before? I hadn't, and now I'll have to rummage through my pictures to find the print. If I do, I'll post it.

For the record, the casket on the trailer was about eight or nine feet long by about as wide.


Please don't post the photograph. Allow the guy some little shred of dignity please. :smack:

astro
12-14-2005, 08:17 AM
Looks like that hearse probably needed a new set of leaf springs when that was overwith. I wonder if those Caddy hearses come with a towing package.

Interesting bio on Hudson


-WALTER HUDSON The Life and Death of a Big Man (http://dimensionsmagazine.com/dimtext/hudson.html)

ms.deanna
12-14-2005, 09:05 AM
WAG In Texas or is it Tennessee or some other state .....
First they knock all the wind out of the deceased.
Second they kick all the s..t out of him.
Third they bury him in a shoe box. :)
lol Thanks for the laugh

handsomeharry
12-15-2005, 10:41 AM
I work at a high volume mortuary, and we had a 980 pounder about six months ago. That's not a typo: 980 lbs! 36 y/o female. She was a direct cremation, but she had to be sent to an out of town creamatory because ours wasn't big enough. She was put on a wooden tray and cinched down with straps and still barely fit in. Took six of us to load her into the van.

BTW, turns out the 980 pounder was a newlywed. I didn't see the guy but I'm told he weighed 150 pounds tops. My only question: "How?"
My oinly question "WhyY"

Carnac the Magnificent!
12-15-2005, 12:33 PM
My family owns a cemetary. When I was 17, my father told me and my brother that we were going to be pallbearers for this person we had never met. The reason was that the recently deceased female weighed over 400 pounds and the men that were listed as the pallbearers were all much older relatives that other concerned family members were concerned couldn't support the weight and they didn't want an embarrassing incident. She was heavy allright although me, my brother, and one of my friends got the job done. We got out of school so it was well worth it.


Three huys for a 400-lb. woman in a casket?

Shaggy, did you later star as the Tall Man in Phantasm?



http://imdb.com/title/tt0079714/

beergeek279
12-15-2005, 06:21 PM
BTW, turns out the 980 pounder was a newlywed. I didn't see the guy but I'm told he weighed 150 pounds tops. My only question: "How?"

Never underestimate beer goggles!!

Johnny L.A.
12-15-2005, 09:59 PM
We laughed our asses off. You'd be surprised how uncontrollable the laughter is when the unthinkable happens.
The Giggle Loop.

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