Friends and relatives of Albert Dancy Jr., who was killed in February, watch as his casket is eased into the bed of his '67 Chevy pickup that was then buried in Clay County. Dancy always told his son, Adam, that he wanted to be buried in his truck. (Courtsey Photo/Charleston Daily Mail)
By Ry Rivard 2009
Daily Mail Staff
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. - In a burial plot that is 19 feet long and nine feet wide, Albert Dancy Jr. lies in a casket in a vault in his 1967 Chevy pickup.
Wearing Realtree camouflage, Dancy, 50, went on to the next life accompanied by a couple of other favorite things: his Old Timer pocketknife and Remington .243-caliber deer rifle.
Dancy said he wanted to be buried with his jaguar green truck, which he'd owned for as long as his 24-year-old son Adam can remember.
"He said it always joking around, but he said it for so many years it was pretty much serious to me," said Adam, who lives in Dille in Clay County. "I always took him seriously. It was the last thing I could do for him."
A native of Sutton, Albert enjoyed hunting, fishing, working on trucks and riding four-wheelers. He was a carpenter, a miner for Massey Coal, and a member of the American Hunting Association and Friends of Coal.
On Feb. 15, just a week after his birthday, Albert was shot and killed. State Police Sgt. R.D. Lilly said it started out as a domestic dispute between Dancy's ex-wife and Robert Dodrill Jr., 44, of Summersville.
Dodrill is accused of forcing his way into the Albert's mobile home at the Pine Trailer Park in Summersville and shooting him in the chest with a small caliber handgun, Lilly said. Dodrill is in the Central Regional Jail on charges of first-degree murder and burglary.
Albert is survived by his two sons, four brothers, three sisters, a half-brother and three grandchildren. Adam said the family concurred on what needed to be done to give his dad the kind of burial he would have wanted.
"I mentioned it one time and we all made it happen," Adam said.
The pocketknife was something that his dad always carried, and the rifle had sentimental value.
"It wasn't really his favorite gun but the year before last he killed a nice 10-point buck with it and got it mounted, so I figured I'd put it in there with him," Adam said.
Adam decided to bury his father on his own place in Clay County, the place where he was raised and took over for himself after his parents divorced.
"I started a family cemetery because most cemeteries don't let you bury a pick-up truck," Adam said.
His uncle brought over a backhoe. For two days they dug the burial plot. It took another day to disassemble the truck.
"I explained to them what they needed to take off the vehicle," said Steve Jeffers, owner of the Greene-Robertson Funeral Home in Sutton.
The Chevy was stripped of anything that could harm the environment: the motor, transmission, brake fluid and tires.
The truck was put in the ground. The vault with the casket was then lowered into the bed of the pickup. And it was all covered with dirt.
Adam Dancy said he didn't mean for it to be an Egyptian burial ritual or anything. If he had, the truck and gun aren't going to be much use.
"We gave him a truck with no tires. We gave him a gun with no shells," Dancy said. "He'll be s-t out of luck."
Contact writer Ry Rivard at ry.riv...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.