The funeral service for Joseph Allan “Joe” Gadberry on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 was a true motorcycle lover’s farewell. The custom-built hearse trailer that carried Joe Gadberry to the Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Breeding, KY was pulled by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and escorted by his fellow biker friends.
This unique hearse is something new to Kentucky and the funeral for Joe Gadberry on July 4th was the second time it has been used. The hearse is being offered as an alternative for motorcycle lovers by funeral directors Bill and Curt Demrow of Liberty, KY
Motorcycle Hearse of Kentucky made its debut at the Kentucky Funeral Directors Convention in Louisville, KY in early June of this year. Louis McQueary obtained some information about this unique service at the convention and brought it back home.
Richard Phelps told Margaret Gadberry, the widow of Joe Gadberry, about this new service as she made funeral arrangements for him and she said that Joe had wanted something like this but they did not think anything like this existed. “She broke into tears as I showed and explained it to her for its use in Joe’s funeral” Richard Phelps said. Margaret was so grateful that this was available and it was so fitting for the final ride for Joe Gadberry a rider of motorcycles his entire life.
When asked how he had come up with this new alternative hearse? Bill Demrow said “he was passing through a town and in front of the funeral home; they had a motorcycle pulling a lawn mower trailer with a piece of plywood and straps for the casket to rest on in front of the funeral home”. Bill Demrow, a motorcycle enthusiast himself and a longtime funeral director thought that there must be a more dignified and professional way to offer this to motorcycle riders. He found a maker of the custom-built hearse trailer and had him match the colors to Demrow’s Harley-Davidson and Motorcycle Hearse of Kentucky was created as a result.
The motorcycle hearse was the funeral homes first time of course. They have used horse drawn wagons, tractor and trailers, firetrucks, pickup trucks all to transport people to the grave before and are glad to have this available for those who have a love for motorcycles.