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Elvis Funeral: Pallbearer on ‘heavy Casket’, Attempts to Steal Body and ‘strange’ Moment!
Following Elvis Presley’s untimely death from a heart attack at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977, 80,000 admirers lined the streets of Memphis to see his casket make its way from Graceland to Forest Hill Cemetery for his burial two days later. Billy Smith, Gene Smith, Joe Esposito, Lamar Like, Dr. George Nichopoulos, Charlie Hodge, Jerry Schilling, and George Klein served as pallbearers for the King’s funeral on August 18.
Billy, Elvis’s cousin, returned to the Forest Hill Cemetery Mausoleum to reminisce about the private service held there for The King. There, he recalled seeing the casket of the late musician being carried up the steps.
GINGER ALDEN FIANCEE OF ELVIS PRESLEY AND THE ENTIRE ALDEN FAMILY AT PRESLEY’S FUNERAL pic.twitter.com/kybKGJAaLo
— Brother John (@solitaire_1959) August 17, 2022
There has always been talking about how “heavy” it was. He hinted, “Now that is something that you won’t believe,” on the Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel. To top Tut, he had his entire coffin lined in gold, which added a tonne of weight. However, he was joking when he shook his head and said, “Now if you purchase it…” It wasn’t a lot of weight at all. Where did folks get the impression that it was so heavy?
But during the wedding in the tiny chapel, something truly miraculous occurred.
Jo, Billy’s wife, recalled a time when the couple was having a service in the house, the sun was shining through the window, and she, Linda Thompson, and Patsy Presley Gamble were all sitting together. And the pallbearers gathered round as the sun cast a perfect cross on the wall through the tiny windows high above. It was very unusual.
Billy stated that the small chapel was where Elvis’ body was kept for around four or five days while security was in place outside, but that the time came to relocate his remains.
An attempt was made, believe it or not, to steal Elvis’ body, and after that, Uncle Vernon was at a loss on what to do, according to the King’s cousin. To ensure his safety at all times, he called the city and requested if he might relocate the facility to Graceland. They agreed to it and also agreed to enable his Mama to be moved there and, of course, Grandma and all of them are buried there now too. That’s the way it should be!
In 1958, Elvis’s mother Gladys passed away, and the two of them were buried together in Forest Hill Cemetery. Both coffins were moved from their original locations and reinterred at the Meditation Garden at Graceland.
Vernon and his wife were laid to rest next to each other in 1979, and the following year, Vernon’s mother Minnie Mae was interred in the royal cemetery alongside The King.
Benjamin Keough, Elvis’ sole grandchild and the only son of his daughter Lisa Marie, passed away at the young age of 27 in 2020 and was buried next to his grandfather.