Burying Fans: Material Culture and Ritual at Fandom Funerals

Archaeology and Material Culture

Star Wars fan Gordon Deacon's funeral carriage was escorted to the church by stormtroopers (image from Wales Online). Star Wars fan Gordon Deacon’s funeral carriage was escorted to the church by stormtroopers (image from Wales Online).

In February lifelong Star Wars and Liverpool Football Club fan Gordon Deacon died of cancer, and the 58-year-old’s funeral commemorated his passions.  The Cardiff father of four was escorted to St. Margaret’s Church by a phalanx of stormtroopers who then oversaw his pallbearers, who were themselves clad in Liverpool jerseys.  Deacon’s funeral was distinctive, but he is by no means alone embracing his fandom for his final earthly ritual.  For instance, the widow of Pittsburgh Steelers fan James Henry Smith requested that he be placed in his favorite reclining chair as if “he just fell asleep watching the game,” covered by his beloved Steelers blanket and facing a television showing a Steelers game (with the television remote in his hand).  When Doctor Who fan Seb Neale died his family and friends arranged…

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Bhavika Gupta

A girl who loves to read, day dream and scrutinize the lyrics of all kinds of songs. She aspires of doing something good in the world and loving herself. She is also a strong feminist, dedicated animal lover and will do anything to fight for the right cause.

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