A teenager from El Reno, Oklahoma, is grateful to a woman she never met after winning a car at her funeral.
Not long before Diane Sweeney died on July 7, 2022, she informed her nephew, Rick Ingram, of her final wish, which involved her favorite car, her Volkswagen Beetle.
“A humorous last wish of Diane’s was to give those in attendance of her funeral service the opportunity to acquire ownership of her newer model Volkswagen Beetle or a car of similar make/model and year,” her obituary on the Resthaven Funeral Home & Memory Gardens website reads.
“We put it in the local paper,” Ingram told Fox News Digital. “That her wish is that whoever comes to the funeral — and she didn’t care if they knew her or not, or their age, race — would have a chance to win her car,” he said, noting that a news station picked up the story as well and the funeral was packed.
Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Bonham saw the story on TV and decided to attend the funeral. More than a year later, after Sweeney’s estate was settled, Bonham — whose car had been giving her trouble — was informed that she had won the car.
“This morning at Resthaven, where her funeral was held and all who attended were able to enter the drawing, her family drew one lucky name. That person will receive Diane’s Volkswagen Beetle,” Resthaven Funeral Home posted on Facebook.
The winner of the car was chosen at random based on people who signed their names into the funeral home’s guestbook.
“Every person that I’ve told about it has said, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s what I should do whenever I pass away.’ Or, ‘I should do something like that at my funeral,'” Bonham told Fox News Digital.
“I think that it’s really cool to see something good happen and the effect that it makes on other people who weren’t directly involved in it. Just people want to do good things. It’s amazing,” the young woman added.
Sweeney was single and did not have any children, according to Ingram.
In July 2022, Sweeney’s niece, Suzanne Singleterry, told KFOR, “My Aunt Diane, she was one of the most generous people you will ever meet, and she loved her VW Bug,” adding Sweeney had talked about giving away her car for a long time:
During the funeral, Bonham was struck by the kindness Sweeney had shown to others throughout her life.
“They put together the slideshows and everything, and so it was just interesting to feel like you knew someone that you had never met before,” Bonham recounted. “They said that she was a very funny and fun person to be around and that she loved her family and church. It definitely seemed like she was a generous person.”
Following the giveaway, Ingram said his aunt “was always thinking of others, even after her death, which is one of her many legacies. And now [Gabriella] starts her life in the spirit of Diane.”