Hearse going through drive-thru to fulfil great-granddad’s dying wish

A great-granddad had his dying wish granted when the hearse carrying his coffin went through a Burger King drive-thru – for one final double bacon cheeseburger.

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Leonard Durkin’s funeral cortege pulled into the fast food restaurant where an order was placed for his favourite £4.49 treat by the smartly-dressed driver.

The freshly-cooked burger was then gently placed on the top of Leonard’s coffin as bemused diners looked on at the store in Elland Road, Leeds, W Yorks.

The cortege then travelled to a local crematorium where family and friends of Leonard – who died aged 71 after a long history of heart problems – gathered for his funeral.

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Leonard’s son, Peter, 50, explained how his dad had asked for his favourite snack to be placed on his coffin before he died on May 28.

Peter said that both of them had regularly visit Burger King after going to his mum Mary’s grave in Leeds, West Yorks, and that his dad had requested the unusual tribute.

They had visited her grave weekly following her death two years ago.

At the end of the ceremony at a nearby crematorium, as the coffin was taken away to be burned, the Johnny Cash classic ‘Ring of Fire’ rang out over the sound system.

Leonard, a former miner, had six children, 18 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

He passed away from heart failure last month after battling with illness for a number of years.

Broadband technician Peter said: “Dad had a brilliant sense of humour and before he died he said he wanted to do this.

“He’ll be having a good laugh about this from up there.

“We would always go and get something to eat after visiting the cemetery where my mum is.

“Every time we went to Burger King he’d get a double bacon cheeseburger, so that was the one we got for him on the day of his funeral.

“People on the street and inside the restaurant were nearly snapping their necks to get a look at us.

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“They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“But the lady who served us at the window just acted like it was business as usual, she didn’t even raise an eyebrow.”

Adrian Benson of Bensons Funeral Directors, who helped Peter plan the funeral, said he was happy to honour the unusual request.

He said: “I can’t say anyone has ever requested to go through a drive-thru on the way to the service before.

“It was a first for me.

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“We told the person serving us that the burger was for the man in the back, but I think the joke was a bit lost on them.”

Mr Benson added: “We try to go the extra mile to give people exactly what they want.

“I made a visit to Burger King a week before to let them know we’d be coming.

“Then the day before I took the hearse there on a trial run to make sure everything was going to go smoothly.

“It went well in the end and everyone was happy.”

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