A World War II veteran with a major sweet tooth has been granted his last wish — to be buried in a casket painted like a pack of Juicy Fruit.
Sammy Oakey of Oakey’s Funeral Service got permission from the Mars Wrigley Company to use the iconic yellow chewing gum logo and fulfill the request of his longtime pal Suttie Economy.
Economy, 94, who is currently at a Virginia Veterans Care Clinic due to a heart condition, has a long-documented love of the gum, CNN reported.
He developed his taste for it while serving in WWII, when the company took Juicy Fruit and other varieties of gum off the market and dedicated its entire output to the US Armed Forces.
When he got home to Roanoke, Virginia, Economy was known to always have a pack on him, and freely donated to others in the community, Oakey told the outlet.
“Suttie would come in here for visitation or just come in to visit and he would always bring a bunch of packs of Juicy Fruit chewing gum and put it out for the employees to enjoy,” said Oakey.
“He didn’t just do that here. He did it at restaurant and doctor’s offices wherever he went.”
The gum became a meaningful symbol for the veteran, said his brother, John Economy.
“It served as a symbol for his mission to talk to people about the World War II memorial and to honor the deceased veterans that died for our freedom,” he told CNN.
At first, the Mars Wrigley company denied Oakey’s request to use its trademark on Economy’s casket, he said.
But the vet’s wish gained attention on social media, and Oakey received a contact for the company’s president from a community member. Within a few days, the VP called and gave his blessing for the logo to be used.
The company also sent 250 packs of Juicy Fruit to Economy’s family, Oakey said.
The family is now seeking an artist to paint the casket.
Crdit: Source link