The 94-year-old war vetreran expressed his wish before his friend Sammy Oakey, President of Oakey’s Funeral Service.
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- Last Updated: September 10, 2020, 6:50 PM IST
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A World War II veteran has an unusual last wish. The man has been so attached to Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit pack of gum that he wants to have his casket painted to look like the pack of the chewing gum.
CNN reported citing Mars that during the second World War, Wrigley stopped supplying its Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit to the civilian market and kept the entire output of these products for the US Armed Forces.
The veteran named Suttie Economy became fond of Juicy Fruit at that time. Ever since he returned home after the war, he has been giving the gum to whoever he meets, the news website reported quoting John Economy, his brother.
“It served as a symbol for his mission to talk to people about the World War II memorial and to honor the deceased veterans that died for our freedom,” his brother said.
The 94-year-old man expressed his wish before his friend Sammy Oakey, President of Oakey’s Funeral Service. Oakey, family friend of the veteran for at least 45 years, told him that he would do what he could to honour his wish.
Speaking about Economy, Oakey told CNN that he is a unique and patriotic individual and he has a habit of handing out Juicy Fruit gum to people.
About three weeks ago, the veteran was admitted to the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Virginia because of a heart condition. He was shifted to the Virginia Veterans Care Clinic a week later. He has been there since and his health is improving.
“Suttie would come in here for visitation or just come in to visit and he would always bring a bunch of packs of Juicy Fruit chewing gum and put it out for the employees to enjoy,” said Oakey.
Mars Wrigley company initially declined Oakey’s request to use Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit logo and trademark on the casket. However, later, due to the social media campaign, Economy’s wish to use the branding gained support.
During their attempt to get the permission from the company, Oakey got the contact to the company’s president from a community member.
Few days later, the vice president of the company reached out to him, granting permission to use the logo.
The company’s president also contacted him, saying he would also send some products to the Economy family.