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Custom casket maker donates services after three Scouts die

By Meredith Shamburger
Aug. 11, 2017 at 12:10 a.m.
Updated Aug. 11, 2017 at 6:41 a.m.


As soon as Trey Ganem saw the news that three Boy Scouts had been involved in a fatal boating accident at Lake O' the Pines, he knew he wanted to offer help to the families.

Ganem, who designs custom caskets in the Victoria area, offered to donate caskets for each of the boys who died. On Thursday, he hand-delivered a custom casket to the Larry family, who had lost their 11-year-old son Thomas on Monday.

"Seeing these young boys out there and knowing that I love the outdoors and what they were doing and boating and things like that, I just said, 'I'll help. Whatever I need to do, I'll do it. I want to do it. I want to make something special for these families, just let them know that it's available,'" Ganem said.

It's a job Ganem has been doing full-time for about three years.

He isn't always financially able to donate caskets, and sometimes they have to refuse orders because they just don't have the ability to fill them all, but Ganem said it's his calling.

He works with his wife, Michele, and son Billy.

"The whole reason we do this is to help families through this situation, which is traumatic," Ganem said.

Ganem took inspiration for Thomas' casket from the boy's love of drums, the color pink and the Boy Scouts after learning about the young boy from conversations with his dad.

A pink drum set, inserted into the top of the casket, includes Thomas' "Tom Tom" nickname.

Khaki and Army green exterior colors harken to Boy Scout Troop 620.

"He loved Boy Scouts, that's what his dad said: drums (and) Boy Scouts," Ganem said.

After leaving Lakeview Funeral Home on Thursday, where he watched as the Larry family remembered Thomas, Ganem said it was a blessing to be able to touch people's hearts and let their loved one's legacy live on.

"It doesn't matter what you do the casket as long as you tell the story of the person in the casket, and that's where the beautiful part is," he said. "So we made the most awesome creation for him, and it made the family smile when they saw it and talk about all the funny things."

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