Man to Spend Eternity Inside a Beer Can

Bill Bramanti displays his beer can coffin
Bill Bramanti displays his beer can coffin

Glenwood Village, Illinois administrator Bill Bramanti's favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon.

He loves it.

Really loves it.

So much so that he's already had his coffin specially made, and it's designed to look like a can of the trendy brew.

Bramanti isn't sick, so he doesn't plan on needing it just yet.

For now he plans to use it as a cooler.

He estimates it can hold about 150 pounds of ice and 15 cases of PBR.

At 5-feet-9 inches tall and weighing 280 pounds, Bramanti has tried it out though.

"I actually fit, because I got in here," Bramanti, 67, of South Chicago Heights said.

He threw a party Saturday for friends, featuring his coffin filled with ice and, what else, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

"Why put such a great novelty piece up on a shelf in storage when you could use it only the way Bill Bramanti would use it?" Bramanti's daughter, Cathy Bramanti, 42, said.

The idea began at Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home.

Five cardiac scares in 15 years had startled Bramanti, and had him thinking about his own mortality.

"We do what typical fathers and daughters do -- 'Let's go look at caskets.'" Bramati said, laughing.

Bramanti ordered the casket from the funeral home, located in Chicago Heights, and Scott Sign Co. of Chicago Heights designed the beer can.

The silver coffin is designed with red, white and blue, just like a Pabst can.

"I think the casket, the fact that it was silver, he started thinking, 'You can do something with a casket like this -- you can personalize it, or do whatever you want, can't you?'" said Phil Panozzo, the funeral home's owner. "I said, 'Yeah, to an extent you can.'"

Friends of the 67-year-old Glenwood Village administrator know that Bramanti loves two things in live -- having fun and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Bramanti built a pole barn for the fun and now the box that will be his final resting place serves as the cooler for the Pabst.
"It's roomy -- I have a lot of room in here," Bramanti said.

The coffin was months in the making.

Then, over the weekend, many of Bramanti's friends, his potential pallbearers, were invited to turn right at the coffin sign, and see the casket, and even lift it for themselves.

"There's no sense having someone who is going to drop me," Bramanti said.

Gabe Loukaki, Bramanti's friend, said while he thought the casket was odd, he replied, "But Bill is odd."

When Bramanti dies, both he and the coffin will come back to Panozzo Funeral Home so, as Bramanti put it, the liner can be installed and the handles can be attached.

Until then, the coffin will help Bramanti live life exactly as he likes to do it, with a good laugh an a cold Pabst.