Friends and family honor late loved one with a dance to his favorite song at his funeral

A funeral is meant to be a celebration of life – and that’s certainly true of Joe Nowak’s funeral.

Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube

In the Western world, visitations, wakes, and funerals are all normally staid and stuffy affairs planned largely by a stranger who gives family members choices between a handful of flowers, songs, and coffins. But there have been plenty of stories of rebels over the past few decades who wanted some other way of throwing their very last party.

The trend of “extreme embalming,” for example, will get you dressed up and posed however you’d like so you can oversee the festivities from the great beyond.

Take Miriam Marie Birkbank: she was just 53 when she died, but the New Orleans party-lover was posed at a table with her favorite beer and a pack of cigarettes during her funeral.

via Find A Grave Source: via Find A Grave

By comparison, Joe Nowak’s funeral was a bit more traditional – except for the line dancing.

When a loved one uploaded a video taken in the parking lot after the service, she captioned it: “Us dancing to Joe’s favorite song again, Copperhead Road, after his funeral in the church parking lot, July 14, 2011.”

Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube

Now, the original video has been viewed over 1.5 million times – even more if you count the views of the copies people have uploaded over the years.

Viewers were delighted to see family and friends honor Nowak with his favorite song – and a parking lot line dance was the ultimate celebration.

“This is the way we should send off all our loved one’s, with their favorite song and celebrating their life!!!” said one fan.

Commenters largely agreed on Joe being “a hell of a guy” and one they would have liked to meet.

Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube

But a funeral is still a sad event and plenty of people got emotional about the passing of someone who could inspire such a feat.

“I don’t even [know] Joe but this made me choke up,” said a viewer.

It’s unclear if the group decided to learn the dance prior to the funeral or if it’s so well known that anyone who knew it was welcome to join in, but we do know it was the second time the line dance was performed in honor of Nowack.

The first time was at his wake a few days earlier in the funeral home parking lot!

Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube

So not only did the deceased inspire his mourners to dance, but to give an encore!

Steve Earle’s 1988 “Copperhead Road” is not your typical funeral fare. It was a country hit and a fan favorite, but tells the story of a marijuana grower in the mountains of Tennessee, comparing him to his bootlegging and moonshine-making ancestors. Less wholesome is Earle singing of the “farmer’s” plans to slaughter any law enforcement that dare interrupt his business venture just like his “daddy” and “granddaddy” before him.

Of course, like many songs, we don’t have to relate to every lyric to find personal meaning (in fact, you probably shouldn’t!).

Not just anyone could inspire their friends and family to pull off a giant line dance at their wake and funeral. For all those who want what Joe’s having, it’s time to start planning and, more importantly, inspiring people now! They’re going to need time to learn the footwork.

Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Nicole Marie/YouTube

Be sure to scroll down to see the encore performance in the church parking lot that went viral in 2011 and is still being appreciated today.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Nicole Marie via YouTube, Find a Grave

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