Saluda County man buried inside his 1973 Pontiac Catalina

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- September 8, 2009

SALUDA, S.C.---One man's funeral is the talk of the town in Saluda. 90-year-old Lonnie Holloway was buried in the front seat of his car along with his most prized possessions.

Hundreds showed up from all over to see Lonnie Holloway and his 1973 Pontiac Catalina.

"This day will be burned in our memories for years and years to come because 'us' ain't never seen nothing like this before," said the pastor at the burial.

Hundreds showed up to Rock Hill Baptist Church to witness his last wish, to be buried in his 1973 Pontiac Catalina.

"He was a unique individual. He said when he died, he didn't want to leave his guns here because somebody might take them and shoot somebody, so he took them with him," said Lonnie's cousin Johnny McCloud.

Family members like McCloud say when Lonnie's wife died two years ago, he made the decision to do a first for the town: be buried next to his wife in his car, with his guns.

"I've been in the wrecker business 30 years and this is the first time we ever buried anybody in their car," said Rodney Minick of Saluda Body Shop.

Lonnie's friend and barber of more than 15 years, Charlie Daniel, says his burial is no surprise.

"I thought he was kidding, really, but he decided to do it, and when he says he's going to do something, then he'd do it," said Daniel.

While some family members say they did the burial because they knew it was Mr. Holloway's last wish, others say they disagreed but went along because they knew it's what he wanted.

"I don't like it but he told me a long time ago. He said 'Sallie Mae, I'm going to be buried in my car.' I said 'Holloway, don't make me ashamed' and he said 'If that's going to make you ashamed, you're going to have to be ashamed.' I hope he made it," said Lonnie's sister Sallie Harris.

And as the last truck leaves, one man's wish begins: spending eternity with what he loved the most, his wife and his car.

"That's what you call going home, he's being sent home the proper way," said McCloud.

After the car was put in the ground, it was covered with a concrete slab to keep the the guns and the car from being stolen.


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