A beloved Minnesota bus driver died on Saturday at the age of 88 and had the perfect send-off.
Born in 1931 on a family farm in Grand Meadow, life-long farmer Glen P. Davis also drove a school bus for 55 years, never once getting into an accident, his obituary says.
As an homage to his dedication to getting kids safely to school and on time, Jim Hindt of the local Hindt Funeral Home donated a custom-made casket to Davis, painted to look just like a school bus.
The casket was actually Davis’ idea, the Star Tribune says. He came up with it 20 years ago and pitched the idea to his friend, Hindt, who made his wish come true.
“Glen had always just joked with me about wanting to be buried in a casket that looked like a school bus,” Hindt told the Minneapolis newspaper. “We just kind of put it together out of friendship for him. I wasn’t sure whether Glen really wanted to use it.”
The idea first came to Davis during a conversation with one of his sons-in-law, Steve Durst, wife Dawn told Post Bulletin.
Durst had told Davis about a school bus casket he saw in a design magazine.
“It never left his mind,” Dawn said.
Davis’s yellow coffin reads “Grand Meadow Schools — ISD #495” in big, bold, black letters on the side, just like his own school bus read. It was painted by one of Hindt’s family friends, the final touches put on by his creative niece.
Davis’ bus kids lovingly called him “Glennie,” his obituary adds, and he drove multiple generations of some local families for Grand Meadow Schools.
Davis was alive when the coffin was revealed to him six years ago. His daughter, Lisa Hodge, was there to witness the emotional unveiling.
“He was speechless,” she told the Star Tribune. “He was just overjoyed, and he couldn’t believe somebody was actually able to do it for him.”
Even after retiring from his bus-driving career in 2005, he continued behind the wheel as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels.
“He just enjoyed the kids and driving the bus so much,” Hodge told Post Bulletin. In 2015, when Davis saw the casket, he said: “Oh, I loved it.”
He’s survived by four children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.