Tag Archives: James Patton funeral director

Indy 500 Winner Killed in Vegas Crash

British IndyCar Driver Dan Wheldon Dead Following 15-car Wreck in Sunday’s Las Vegas Indy 300. More on the accident.


Doritos Creator Arch West To Be Honored with Graveside Chips-Sprinkling

At the October 1 funeral of Arch West, who passed away last week, his family plans to honor the former Frito-Lay marketing executive in a somewhat unorthodox way: They’ll be sprinkling Doritos on his grave prior to the first scoop of dirt. How else would you celebrate the snack-food visionary who took a good idea, coupled it with market research, and championed the Doritos cause until it hit the shelves in 1967?

West, who lived to the age of 97, first presented the idea for these crunchy corn chips in 1961 after a family vacation near San Diego, where he encountered a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips. Though the idea initially was met with skepticism, West was undeterred in his quest, which eventually produced taco-flavored Doritos in 1968 and the trademark nacho cheese-flavored Doritos four years later.

Music Stops for Wisconsin Man Charged With Stealing Guitar From Corpse

Steven Conrad Charged With Theft From A Corpse

Green Bay, Wisconsin

On 09-23-2011 at approximately 3:05 PM Officers from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay located at 1825 Riverside Drive, in the Village of Allouez, for a report of a theft.

Upon Arrival Officers met with the complainant, Diocese Director of Facilities Tammy Jo Basten, who stated she wanted to report a theft of a guitar. Tammy advised officers that a deceased person, Randall Jourdan, had been placed in his casket with his guitar and the casket had been placed into a burial chamber, and the guitar was later discovered missing.

As a result of the investigation officers discovered on 09-22-2011 at approximately 2:00 PM employees from the Green Bay Diocese met with Ryan Funeral Home at the front entrance to the Mausoleum to move the casket from the Ryan Funeral Home vehicle to a holding room in the building.While moving the casket the Ryan Funeral Home director stated that the family wanted to verify that the guitar was still in the casket prior to the casket being placed in the burial chamber. The guitar was verified to still be in the casket at this time when the casket was placed into the burial chamber. A witness, an employee of the Diocese, became suspicious when he overheard a comment made by another employee stating “That’s a Telly, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It’s too expensive to be in a crypt.” On 09-23-2011 at 7:00 AM the suspicious employee opened the casket in the burial chamber and found the guitar missing.

On 09-24-2011 Officers from Brown County Sheriff’s Office questioned 39 year old Green Bay Diocese Grounds Superintendent Steven Conard about the missing guitar. While being questioned by the Officer Steven admitted that he had the stolen the guitar inside his residence. Steven said, “This isn’t something I normally do, I just have a respect for fine musical instruments”. Officers were able to recover the guitar from Conard’s residence.

The guitar is a Fender, Telecaster valued at two thousand dollars.

Steven Conard was arrested and incarcerated in the Brown County Jail for charges of Theft from a Corpse. Also arrested during this investigation was Steven Conrad’s 43 year old wife, Heather Conrad. Heather was incarcerated in the Brown County Jail for charges of obstructing justice.

Colorado Grave Digger in Hot Water Over Grave Dancing

Christopher Redd

Grand Junction, Colorado

A Clifton, Colorado man has been fired from his job as a grave digger after he was filmed gyrating and playing a simulated guitar while standing on a burial vault.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office says 27-year-old Christopher Redd could face misdemeanor charges of desecration of venerated objects after his antics on July 23 at Memorial Gardens.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Redd says it was a botched attempt to win tickets for a rock jam festival. He says it was an empty concrete vault and it happened before a funeral service was held at the site.

Redd didn’t win the tickets because he did not fulfill a contest requirement of posting the video to Youtube.com.

The burial worker claims that in the video he was standing on an empty vault that was to be filled with a coffin the next day and his immediate boss gave him permission to record the video, but he was fired anyway, NBC11 reports. The cemetery denies giving any permission to Redd.

Redd’s Facebook page indicates he was employed by Memorial Gardens through Quick Temps, a Grand Junction-based temporary staffing company.

Redd uploaded the video of himself playing simulated guitar in the still open grave to his Facebook page. Redd’s Facebook page also lists Medicinal Marijuana as one of his activities.

Police: Body Found In New Orleans River Was ‘Treme’ Actor Michael Showers

Michael Showers

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Orleans Parish coroner’s office has identified a body found in the Mississippi River on Wednesday as Michael Showers, an actor from the HBO show “Treme.”

Showers’ body was pulled from the river in New Orleans near the Riverboat Natchez after 11 a.m., investigators said.

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office said Showers lived in Chalmette with his girlfriend and was reported missing on Tuesday. His girlfriend told deputies Showers went to have a drink with a friend and never returned home, police said.

Showers’ credits also include appearances in the critically acclaimed cable television series “Breaking Bad,” “The Vampire Diaries,” the 2000 film “Traffic” and the Louisiana-shot movie “I Love You Phillip Morris.”

Want Live Strippers at Your Funeral?

Should you meet your demise in Taiwan, a funerary option open to you is the Electric Flower Car (EFC), a wheeled, neon-lit platform upon which pulchritudinous women strip down to their skivvies for the benefit of audiences…both living and deceased.

We spoke with University of South Carolina anthropologist Marc L. Moskowitz about this practice, which is detailed in his recent documentary Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan. Moskowitz told us about the societal role of EFC entertainers, who often perform their titillating trade in front of the bereaved family and neighborhood passers-by.

Read More on Stripper Funerals

Betty Ford Laid To Rest Next To Husband

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Former first lady Betty Ford was buried Thursday beside her husband at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, and after a private ceremony where she was remembered for her public battles with breast cancer and alcoholism.

The burial on the banks of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids followed a funeral service at a church in her Michigan hometown.

“When Americans remember Betty Ford, many will always think first about how she dealt with illness and how she brought things into the open where they can be faced and fought and conquered,” Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said in her eulogy.