Minnesota mechanic's ashes buried in truck transmission


A Pelican Rapids man's family has steered away from a traditional urn to bury his ashes, WDAY-TV reports.

The station said children of Dan Tollefson, 72, decided to take a non-traditional route after their father died recently.

The ashes of Tollefson, a mechanic, were buried in a truck transmission in Osnabrock, N.D.

Tollefson's family said the man worked on transmissions and engines since he was a boy.

"That's what he did all his life ... he was known as the 'gear man,'" said Tollefson's daugher, Mischelle Hegerty.

Thanks to a call from a family friend, a Fuller transmission was donated by Weller Trucking out of Michigan for the burial, said Tollefson's family.

Don Tollefson Jr. said the company shipped the transmission out in about a week, and they "cleaned it off and painted everything. Like new. Brand new hoses."

Funeral arrangers say they get some unusual – but often poignant – requests when it comes to ashes.

The remains of Edward L. Wentzlaff, of Milaca, a Pearl Harbor survivor who died last month, will be interred in the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, according to the Mille Lacs County Times. Divers in a special ceremony will place the remains in a gun turret of the ship at the bottom of the Hawaii harbor.

Baby boomers, especially, seem to request flashy send-offs for their funerals, according to the AARP.

The company Eternal Reefs mixes ashes into a concrete “memorial reef” placed in the ocean. An Illinois jeweler is among those that offers to craft ash remains into diamonds. Space Services Inc. will blast your remains into orbit. And Angel Flight Inc. packs ashes into fireworks.

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