'Smoking killed me' sign at funeral
Published 02/03/2010 | 14:09
A life-long smoker had his dying wish honoured when he had the words "Smoking Killed Me" placed on signs in his hearse.
Albert Whittamore, known as Dick, died last month aged 85 after suffering for years from emphysema, a progressive lung condition he blamed on his habit.
He wanted the ill-effects of his smoking to act as a warning to others and dictated in his will that the signs be placed inside his hearse as it passed through his home town of Dover in Kent.
One of the signs was also placed at Mr Whittamore's graveside, according to his wishes.
Paul Sullivan, of Sullivan & Son funeral directors, said: "Although he had reached the age of 85, he had been suffering for a while and wanted to do his bit to warn others about smoking.
"He specified that that's what he wanted in his will. We gave it some thought but after a while we decided that that's what he had requested."
Mr Whittamore, who ran a small printing business in a shop below his home, was forced to use a motorised wheelchair in his later years as his health faltered.
A spokesman for the stop smoking charity Quit said: "We understand Dick had emphysema, which is a lung condition caused by smoking which results in people struggling for breath.
"Dick is sending out a strong message to smokers as he doesn't want others to suffer.
"Smokers can ring Quitline, 0800 00 22 00, to get advice on how to quit and to pay tribute to Dick."