Glen Davis had a casket built and painted to resemble the iconic vehicle before he died
A long-time Minnesota school bus driver has been buried in a specially designed coffin.
Before he passed in February, Glen Davis worked for the Grand Meadow School District, near Rochester, Minnesota for 55 years.
He was known affectionately by generations of pupils simply as “Glennie.”
He wanted to be memorialized by the job that brought him so much joy, such was his love of driving the school bus each and every day.
Davis had the casket designed and built – painted exactly like a Grand Meadow district school bus – before he died, giving strict instructions that he was to be laid to rest in the black and yellow coffin.
He passed away on February 15 aged 88 and was laid to rest in the casket he designed while he was still alive.
He began his driving career in 1949, the same year he graduated high school.
He was truly a driver for the ages.
The first set of students he drove were his own classmates and friends but eventually, the passengers turned into the children of his classmates and then their grandchildren.
By the time he retired, Davis had driven 800,000 miles and gone through five buses.
After the school round was done, Davis would head back to his other job as a farmer and would begin milking cows.
“He just enjoyed the kids and driving the bus so much,” said his daughter, Lisa Hodge to the Brainerd Dispatch.
Davis believed a bus casket would be the perfect expression of his personality and showcase his love of his lifelong profession.
The idea came from a conversation he had with one of his sons-in-law, Steve Durst, said Steve’s wife, Dawn.
Durst owned a graphic design business and had already seen a “school bus casket” in a magazine.
A family friend, Jim Hindt, who owned a funeral home decorated one of his coffins by painting it himself in the orange color of a school bus.
He added some flair including a stop sign and the number 3 painted on the side – the number of the bus Davis first drove.
Upon presenting the coffin to Davis in 2015, he was overwhelmed.
“He really got a kick out of it,” Hodge said.
“It’s what he loved about life.”
“My dad said that all it was missing is an emergency exit door!” she told the paper.
Glennie was laid to rest at St. Finbarr Catholic Church in Grand Meadow.
Although it was a sad occasion, Hodge says the mood was lightened by the sight of the school bus casket in which Davis took his final ride.