I shot my father with his own shotgun!


On Saturday, 22 November, 2008, I shot my Father with his own shotgun.He deserved it. And he gave me permission to do it. I used a Marlin Model 24 12 ga. Pump to do the deed. Me and and about 20 other people blew him all over a field.

Let me explain why we did this. It wasn’t because we all hated my Father, but rather because we loved and respected him.

My Father, 87, was a life long avid small game hunter. There was no outdoor activity he enjoyed more. He died on 6 November, 2008. While going through his things about a week before his death with my son and my sister, we found a box of shot shells. Someone said “Hey, let’s shoot these at his burial in salute”. That sounded great. Then, as a joke, my son, who is a reloader, said “You know what might be an even better idea? Grandpa wants to be cremated. I could load some of his remains into these shells in place of the shot.” Well, the “Joke” started to take hold. The more people we told about the idea, the more it sounded like something my Father would like. So, 3 days before he died, while he was very weak but lucid, we told him of our plan. He laughed, for the last time in his life, at the proposal. He said “Go for it!!”

The shotgun is a family heirloom that had been purchased in 1917 by my Grandfather and passed down to my Father, then to me and currently owned by my son. The perfect gun for the “Family Salute”. My Father had told often of using the old Winchester “Yellow Shells” (Black Powder) during the 1930’s to put meat on the table during the Depression. He used these shells because they were all he could afford. They were 73 cents per box of 25 in 1937. Smokeless loads were twice as much. So, we decided to use Black Powder for our “Special” Loads. On the day of the graveside memorial, my son loaded 21 shells with 30grs. of Black Powder and filled the shell up with his Grandpa’s ashes, put a wad over the top and sealed it with a hot glue gun.

Later at the cemetery, we met with the guys who were to conduct the Veteran’s Salute (My Father was in the 214th 90mm Anti-Aircraft Artillery in Europe in WW-II) and told them of our plans to blast my Father all over the field with our “Special” shells before their ceremony. They all agreed that they had heard of a lot of ways of “Scattering” the ashes, but none had ever heard of using a shot gun.

So, it was done, among many chuckles, not sadness, just as my Father would have liked. Even the Minister presiding at the grave-side took part saying “I have to shoot one. I’ll never get another chance to blast a man with a shot gun!!”

Condolences on your father, and congratulations on a unique tribute to him.

My wife and I have discussed “scattering” my ashes the same way (over a skeet field).
At the sports car track (WHRRI) I “grew up” at, the starters tower contains some of my former neighbors ashes

A fitting tribute!

That were real “special purpose” cartridges.

I heard that a number of years ago, muzzle-loading gun enthusiast and historian Kit Ravenshear’ cremated remains were blasted out of a cannon during a reenactment at a Revolutionary War battlefield. (In compliance with his prior request, although without appoval of the bureaucrats who manage the site…)

I think the ashly remains of Hunter S. Thompson, an author, were “spread” via artillery of some sort. I would be honored to be afforded a similar rite. Ideally in spectaclar fashion.

Lost my Pop (at age 92) June of 2006…he was cremated…and I think his remains…remain with my brother…wished he liked the shooting sports as much as your Pop…cause he would have cosigned the “go for it” (but you have me thinking !)

What a tribute…one for the books

Sorry for your loss…but the story will live for long


Sorry about your loss Ron

What a great way to honour your dad.

Sorry for your great loss Ron.


My husband and I have considered this ourselves… great way to do a special send-off…

Ron - my heartfelt condolences. Am away from home and just checked ito the Forum. I am touched by the tribute you paid him. I thank him for his service to our country in WWII.

It is interesting that years ago I told my wife I would like, upon my passing, to be loaded into cartridges and shot downrange at a Cowboy Shoot. She didn’t think it was funny, and don’t think she realized I didn’t say it to be funny. What better way for a shooter and collector to “leavge the range.”

I commend you on your imagination and thoughtfulness in this wonderful tribute to you dad - a soldier and a sportsman - not a bad thing to say about a man once he’s gone! Sounds like someone all of us would have liked to have known.

Ron, my condolences big time to you and your family on your loss. What an amazing tribute to him and with-out doubt one the coolest things I have heard being done to honor someone who has passed. My condolences again.

PS: I have always told my parents if I die early that I want to be feed to wild lions in Africa! They said no way. I am still bummed about that :-)