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MECHANICSBURG, Ohio — Bill Standley was the kind of guy who lived life exactly the way he wanted, usually while riding a motorcycle or a horse.
Standley was buried yesterday straddling his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a casket made of Plexiglas and plywood. It was a funeral he started planning 18 years ago, long before he could have known about the cancer that killed him on Sunday at age 82.
David Vernon, director of the Skillman, McDonald and Vernon Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg, said that, when Standley first asked him about it, Vernon gave him one condition:
“I told him, ‘I have no problem doing this for you, but I don’t want you to come off that motorcycle.’ ”
So Standley and his sons designed a brace that hooked into the bike and led up his back to surround his rib cage. Five years ago, Standley went before the Champaign County Board of Health, which told him he’d have to come up with a special vault and drain all the fluids out of the bike before he could be buried with it.