Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To a funeral in a bucket....

JCB driver carried to his final resting place in the vehicle he loved

Last updated at 12:56 AM on 5th October 2010
      A skilled digger driver fulfilled his dying wish by being carried to his final resting place on the forks of a JCB.
    Des Young, who died aged 64, was so skilled at controlling the mechanical  diggers he was described as a 'legend'.
    Mr Young, of Corby Hill, Cumbria, was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this  year, but approached his funeral with good humour to make his passing as bearable as he could for his family - including his daughters Andrea Bowe, 38, and Stephanie Marshall, 35, his five grandchildren and former wife, 59-year-old  Linda.
    Final journey: Des Young's coffin is carried to the crematorium on the forks of one of the beloved JCBs that he operated for more than 40 years
    Final journey: Des Young's coffin is carried to the crematorium on the forks of one of the beloved JCBs that he operated for more than 40 years
    He had worked with JCBs since his early 20s and his wish came true with the help of Carlisle funeral director John Walker.
    The digger was provided by a firm Mr Young often worked for, Scot JCB in Kingstown,  and was driven by former colleague Robert Smith.
    Watched by grieving friends and relatives, Mr Young's coffin was carried on the forks of the JCB digger to the entrance of Carlisle Crematorium.
    'He loved driving his digger and he was brilliant at it,' said mother-of-three Stephanie.
    'They're such powerful machines and he loved working with them; he always had a  reputation as somebody who was good with them. He was so good with them he could make them dance.
    'My dad started his own business driving his digger 15 years ago and he just  loved going to work.'
    Mr Young became ill in April but despite chemotherapy sessions doctors had to tell  him he could not be cured. It was then that he began quietly to make his plans, organising a holiday with  his family to Legoland in Windsor and secretly organising his final journey.
    He contacted Carlisle funeral director John Walker - an old school pal - and asked him to sort it all out.

    Des Young: His daughter Stephanie said he was 'so good with JCBs he could make them dance'
    Stephanie added: 'Dad was loving, reliable, loyal, generous, strong, and very, very brave. When he was in a lot of pain near the end, he didn't complain - he  just said he was uncomfortable. He just got on with it.
    'When he said he wanted to be taken to the crematorium on a digger I wasn't at all surprised, knowing how much he loved them. We arranged for flowers to be put on the JCB and having his funeral this way was entirely right.'
    John Walker recalled the day a few months ago when Mr Young walked into his Wigton Road premises. He said: 'I grew up with Des in Kirkbride - he was always a  brilliant person.
    'He just called in one day and asked me how I was and then said he had a bit of  a problem. He told me he had cancer and there was no way back for him. He wanted to travel his last few hundred yards on a digger so I told him to leave  it with me.
    Mr Young died at Eden Valley Hospice two weeks ago and his funeral was held last Friday.

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