Planning my dads tacky funeral.
By: Russ Ray Rollins
WTKS - 104.1 Real Radio - Orlando
Feb 27, 2019 - 5:28 PM
I've been planning events for a long time. I owned a party rental company when I was younger. For over ten years I planned other peoples weddings, birthday parties and graduations. I've planned huge events for the "Monsters in the Morning" at Hard Rock Live, House of Blues and Daytona Beach. I've had many weddings of my own ( space of a laugh ) but I never thought I'd be planning my Dads tacky funeral.
Raymond C Rollins died last Saturday. It was sudden and not expected. I have learned in a short amount of time that my father meant very much, to more people than I ever realized. Hundreds of people have contacted me to let me know, "your dad helped me get my VA benefits" or "I met your dad at a Monsters event and he told me to call him "dad", then he bought my dinner." Other stories from my closer friends were even more heart wrenching. The gifts he would drop off to people for no reason at all, the people (more than five) that he changed their tire on the side of the road and people that he would give loving fatherly advice too. Stories keep coming in to my e-mail, phone and text.
Dad would talk about the day he would "croak & choke" all the time. He would say "ain't nobody gonna wanna come to my funeral" and "if they do, I want a party!" He made if VERY clear, he wanted everyone to sign his casket. He wanted everyone to get a sharpie and a cigar. He wanted the song "My Way" to be played at his funeral, but it HAS to be the Elvis version, not the Frank Sinatra version. He wants the song "Why Me" by Chris Kristofferson to be played, because he would sing that song to my mom. He also wanted his elephant necklace to be rigged up with water so it would squirt people when they looked in his casket. These are his wishes. Not mine. But Dad, I think I can make most of this happen and even add some more "PAZZAZ."
This Saturday, March 2, 2019, the viewing will start at 11:00 am. We'll give people who attend a sharpie to sign his coffin and a cigar while supplies last. WCW / WWE Superstar, and very close personal friend, Marc Mero will start out the service. It'll be a first come first seated service. After Marc leads us in prayer he will tell a few Raymond C. stories. Next, I will do my best to keep my composer and tell some funny and touching stories about my father. Then, we have a video (thank you Carlos) that will highlight great moments in my fathers life. So many photos with Dad and my Mom, my beautiful sister, Bo, Tony, Scott, Ernie, Monster listeners, Monsters and his grandchildren. The video will have the "My Way" Elvis song that dad always wanted. But wait..... there is MORE!
Marc Mero will then invite anyone in attendance to tell a Raymond C. story. With people like Bo Rhodes, Jeff Howell, and Savannah in the audience I can only imagine the stories we'll hear. The next thing up, will be a live performance of "Why Me" by Juno Smile. That's Joseph Martens ("Sunday morning Coming Down" on Real Radio) and Jessy the Fiddle Player. There will not be a dry eye in the house for that song.
Then, six United States Marines will act as pallbearers to take my dad to the hearse. Dad was a very proud Marine, he would have LOVED that. He will have a military service at the grave site, with TAPS being played.
To make it all even better, we'll be streaming the entire funeral "live" on our "Real Radio Monsters" YouTube channel. This way all of his friends and family across the country can watch. Thank you Ryan Holmes for agreeing to the broadcast. Along with the streaming , we will run an add asking viewers to please donate to "American Legion post 19" instead of sending flowers. We are going to end the day at Post 19 for drinks and barbecue. This would make dad so happy. He loved helping the American Legion and loved the people at Post 19. By leaving the funeral video on line, it may help them get donations for years to come.
Will this be tacky? Yes.
Would Raymond C Rollins be happy with this production? Oh, Hell yes!
The only thing he would be mad at me for? I refuse to rig up the elephant necklace in his casket.
That's just over the line Dad. lol
Raymond C Rollins funeral this Saturday: 1:00
Watch on "Real Radio Monsters": YouTube
Donations - No Flowers:
American Legion Post 19 ,
5320 Alloway St, Orlando FL 32810
A deep thank you to every single person that has told me a great story about my dad. It was helped to make me realize how wonderful he was. It has helped to ease my heart break. Thank you .