HR Strange But True!
June 16, 2003

This item qualifies as "strange" only in the sense that it's unusual. More importantly, it's also exemplary. -eds.

Employees of a Waffle House restaurant in Jefferson, Ga., held a funeral in their parking lot recently for a beloved regular customer, Lawrence "Tuna" Clark.

Clark was such a regular that he called the restaurant his "office." He ate there at least once a day. The staff knew how he took his coffee. They knew his favorite seat. And they knew his favorite parking space; in fact, for the service, his cremated remains were placed on the hood of a Chevrolet that occupied the spot, and a ceremonial signature book was placed nearby.

The Athens Banner-Herald portrayed Clark as someone who earned the devotion of the Waffle House employees by showing devotion to them. They nicknamed him "the Waffle House taxi service," since they knew they could depend on him if they needed a ride to work. Many credited him with keeping them employed when engine troubles meant they didn't have transportation to work, the newspaper reported.

"We wouldn't have jobs without him. Where would our kids be without him?" asked Belinda Cole, one of the three dozen people who dabbed tears as they told stories about him at the service.

In his last days, Clark discussed his funeral arrangements with niece Joyce Bicksler and asked that he be memorialized at the restaurant. "He wanted people to remember him as he was. He didn't want to be in a casket," Bicksler said. "He wanted to be here."

Source: Athens Banner-Herald

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