Avid fisherman's family honors his memory by bringing boat into funeral home

An avid fisherman had his final wish fulfilled: a funeral featuring his beloved boat.

Nathaniel Frey, 37, of Hellertown, Pa., passed away New Year’s Eve at a hospital in Fountain Hill. However, his family members and funeral director David Heintzelman made sure his passion for fishing would live on.

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“[Heintzelman] said, ‘I got an idea. Let’s put Nathaniel’s boat inside the funeral home,” Frey’s cousin Joshuah Thompson told Syracuse.com.

So that’s exactly what they did.

Frey’s casket was placed inside Frey’s own 16-foot aluminum fishing boat, which had been passed down from his grandfather and father, for the viewing.

Frey’s casket was placed inside Frey’s own 16-foot aluminum fishing boat, which had been passed down from his grandfather and father, for the viewing. (Josh Thompson)

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For the viewing on Jan. 3, Frey’s casket was placed inside Frey’s own 16-foot aluminum fishing boat, which had been passed down from his grandfather and father, Syracuse.com reported. Afterward, Frey’s brother Jeremy placed a wooden platform inside his fishing boat and transported the casket from the church to the cemetery.

Frey’s brother Jeremy placed a wooden platform inside his fishing boat and transported the casket from the church to the cemetery.

Frey’s brother Jeremy placed a wooden platform inside his fishing boat and transported the casket from the church to the cemetery. (Josh Thompson)

The ardent angler would have been pleased with the service, Thompson believes, as Frey once sent Thompson a text reading, "When It’s My Time, Take Me In My Fishing Boat."

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Most likely, Frey would have loved that his family and friends are now planning to continue his annual fishing trip up to the Salmon River in Oswego County, a tradition he had been leading for the past 15 years.

“My cousin started it and we’re going to keep it going,” Thompson said.

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Frey is survived by his wife and two children.