Detroit man gets final wish, has funeral in homemade pine box at bar

Jimmy Lehr's coffin on stage in the bar he used to frequent.
Sarah McNeil/ WWJ/ CBS News

DETROIT -- It was last call on Friday for a popular bar patron in Taylor, Mich., as Jimmy Lehr was granted his request for his funeral to be held at the All Around Bar, reports CBS Detroit.

His friend Robert Guzman says Lehr wanted to be buried like a “cowboy in the 1800s,” so he and a few friends built him a special pine box where he was laid out in front of the stage.

“It took us about 16 hours, but we started from scratch and the coffin is now inside the bar,” Guzman said. “It’s like a first that anybody’s ever heard (of this.)”

Guzman said he and his pal had good times together. “We had some interesting trips, we hunted, we fished together,” he said.

Lehr was also married at the bar where he worked for more than 20 years. How much time did he spend there?

“Twenty-four hours a day, and just about seven days a week,” Guzman said, adding, “We both slept here many a time.”

Through tears and laughter, friends and family spent more than an hour and a half at the bar today telling stories and remembering Lehr as a good friend who was always there to help out.

He is survived by four children and 10 grandchildren.

“It is closure, I met him here and I’m leaving his soul here,” said friend Ann Marquette.