People do some really weird stuff with their cars and on the surface this story of a woman in Oklahoma asking that her 2016 Volkswagen Beetle be raffled off at her funeral is one of them. But as we dug into the story, it was also touching in a surprising way. After all, a 16-year-old girl who attended the woman’s funeral and didn’t even know her was ecstatic to get her very own car.
We can’t imagine having a bunch of strangers attend our funeral because they want to win our old car, but that’s what the late Diane Sweeny of Oklahoma City wanted. She never married and didn’t have any children, so there was nobody directly in line to inherit her beloved Beetle. She couldn’t given it to a niece or nephew, but instead she wanted to spread a little joy in the community.
In fact, one of Sweeny’s nephews told Fox News Digital that “she always had a giving spirit.” And the car was her final gift.
Even though Sweeny never had a family of her own, she certainly didn’t want for material things. Before retiring to Oklahoma, the place she considered her true home, she worked in biostatistics for a pharmaceutical company on the East Coast, doing very well for herself. We can imagine she was quite comfortable in retirement yet preferred a rather unassuming vehicle. That tells you a lot about what kind of person she was.
Also central in Sweeny’s life was her Christian faith. With that came a charitable spirit, which helps explain why she was excited to give away her beloved VW Beetle to someone she didn’t even know. It just so happened the person who won the car was a very excited 16-year-old named Gabriella Bonham.
We hope she appreciates and cares for the ride while remembering the legacy of the woman who made her ownership possible.