Burial plan: Man wins prize for his own coffin

Posted October 19, 2008
Updated October 20, 2008

— Grady Hunter will take his prize-winning entry in the N.C. State Fair to the grave.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Hunter, 75, won a blue ribbon in this year's crafts and hobbies competition by making his own coffin.

Earlier this week Hunter told WRAL News that he was "tickled to death" with the coffin.

Hunter, who works in a lumber yard, wanted to improve on store-bought caskets, so he installed three inches of foam at the thinnest point, rising to 12 inches at the head to place his body on an incline. The case has hard-rock maple and Brazilian cherry. He also routed his signature into the wood.

"I've never lived in a house that I didn't build myself, so why start now," Hunter told WRAL News.

On the inside of the lid, Hunter plans to pin pictures of his son, daughter and grandchildren, so he can take those with him.

Hunter has even lined up pallbearers for his funeral, and he's writing his own eulogy.


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  • greentara Oct 20, 2008

    At first, I thought it a tad macabre but then I read his thoughts on it and thought, how cool. He is just getting ready and wants to do it his way and in an artistic manner. I will look for it at the fair...wait a minute, they have a coffin exhibit at the fair?

  • Travised Oct 20, 2008

    I still like the Pabst coffin that was in the Strange thread earlier this year. A coffin painted like a beer can.

  • nghtstarz2 Oct 20, 2008

    We also saw the coffin at the fair and it was drop dead gorgeous!

  • Panther Oct 20, 2008

    A man after my own heart. Coffins cost are too expensive. Speaking of too expensive, I wonder if the Government will have a buyout program for that too?

  • arljsl Oct 20, 2008


  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 20, 2008

    Case closed. Bury him in his home-made casket. That is what he wants.

  • san4short Oct 20, 2008

    Sounds like a very practical and loving family man. Good for him that he won this prize!

  • manyhatsmom Oct 20, 2008

    We saw the coffin at the NC State Fair, and it is a beautiful piece of work. Definitely deserved the prize!

  • Scubagirl Oct 20, 2008

    "he leave something for his family to do just for closures sake"

    Having buried most of my family, I do not feel picking out a coffin in any way helped me with closure. By doing this he has accomplished 2 things that I can see-1) His wishes are followed in respect to his coffin and 2) that is one less thing the family has to decide and AGREE on at a very difficult time.
    Good for him.....

  • tarheelblue919 Oct 20, 2008

    well, in a way this will help the family not have to do so much later on, but i would suggest to him that he leave something for his family to do just for closures sake...