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_by Phil Bourjaily


_There have been outfits before that would load your remains into a cartridge, but Holy Smoke definitely has the best name and a cool logo, too. What makes Holy Smoke different from and better than the other company I remember is that their predecessors would only load your remains into one shell, while the Holy Smoke guys will make a whole flat of ammunition with each shell containing a portion of your ashes. I have to say that makes Holy Smoke’s service a much more attractive alternative. How could you rest in peace if you were worrying that the person you trusted the one and only shell containing your ashes to might miss?

This way whoever gets your ashes has 250 chances to make a memorable shot. You have to like those odds better.

From a company release:
Mobile, Ala., July 27, 2011 — You want to plan your loved one’s final arrangements in a way that not only celebrate his or her life but also reflect that person’s passions and interests. Holy Smoke LLC can help you honor the deceased outdoors person with a unique memorial that commemorates his or her love for shooting sports. Have your loved one’s cremated ash placed in live ammunition so you can share one more round of clay targets, one last bird hunt or one last stalk hunt. _Simply tell the folks at Holy Smoke what type of hunting or shooting the descendent practiced, and they can help you decide what will best suit your needs.

Holy Smoke was started by two state law enforcement officers, Clem Parnell and Thad Holmes, who realized there was a need for an individual’s choice in how his or her life could be remembered or honored.

“What better way to be remembered than in a celebration of a life well spent?” Parnell asks. “We provide an ideal means for showing your love and respect for the deceased sportsman or woman. Not to mention, our services cost a fraction of what most funeral burial services cost, and they’re more ecologically friendly than most of the current funeral interment methods.”

Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, you (by way of your funeral service provider) will send approximately one pound of the decedent’s ash to Holy Smokes. Upon receiving the ash, the professional and reverent staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge. For example, one pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells (one case).

You will be shipped the finished ammunition, boxed in available labeled ammunition boxes. Mantle-worthy wooden carriers with engraved name plates are also available. Your return shipment will also include any unused ash in a separate, labeled container.

“We provide compassionate personal service, exceptional quality and a truly unique memorial,” Parnell says.
No matter what, it will be difficult to ever top Hunter S. Thompson’s explosive final sendoff (see video below). RIP HST.