A Pennsylvania grandfather died last month of heart complications, and his bereaved family honored his unconventional final wishes and buried him with a Philly cheesesteak in each hand.
According to Philly.com, 76-year-old Richard Lussi had long joked that he wanted to be buried with a pair of his favorite Philly cheesesteak sandwiches from Pat’s King of Steaks, so he’d have something to eat in the afterlife.
Lussi lived about two and a half hours away from Philadelphia, but he was obsessed with Pat’s cheesesteaks. Family members recall that at family get-togethers, he would frequently dare his adult children and grandchildren to make the drive to Philadelphia and back to bring him a pair of sandwiches. They usually did it.
“We hear that there’s other cheesesteak places in Philly, but we haven’t seen them,” said Lussi’s son, John.
The day before Lussi’s funeral, his son John, grandson Dominic, and two friends drove to Philadelphia to eat some sandwiches, and to buy two extra to put in Lussi’s coffin the next day.
They were going to just buy one sandwich, but Lussi always said that going to Pat’s and buying one sandwich was a waste of time. So they ordered two the way Lussi liked them,“Whiz without, no onions, because they’ll come back to haunt me.”
The family says the funeral director said to put the sandwiches in the casket after the viewing, or people might take them.
Pat’s owner Frank Olivieri Jr. told Philly.com he was flattered, bewildered, and proud that someone liked his sandwiches enough to be buried with them. He suggested Lussi might want the sandwiches as a bribe for Saint Peter. Well, Pat’s King of Steaks does make one of the best cheesesteaks in America.