One of the weirdest burials in the world was right here in an East Side cemetery. Sandra West was the young widow of Texas multimillionaire oilman Ike West. When she died in 1977 the Beverly Hills socialite left a handwritten will saying she had to be buried in her lacy nightgown sitting in her 1964 powder blue Ferrari 330 America in a comfortable reclining position.And it includes plenty of quotes from the wonderfully-named owner of Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries, Dick Tips, including a sneak peek at the plans for his own funeral.
If she wasn't buried as instructed, her brother-in-law would get nearly nothing. A court battle lasted two months before she finally rode off into the ground. Hundreds showed up at the Alamo Masonic Cemetery to see the spectacle, but the funeral director kept West all crated up. The onlookers couldn't see West inside the crate, even though she was dressed in her nightgown in the car. The court had ordered it to be respectful and discrete.
“I'm going to have different costume changes,” says Tips. “I was a Rey Feo here in San Antonio. I'm very proud of it,” said Tips.That's going to be some send-off.
“Absolutely. The Masonic Lodge, Rey Feo, Cavaliers, and, of course, the suit,” said Dick's wife Kristen, who is also a funeral director.
Dick Tips plans to show off and celebrate what the family business can do. Someday, not soon, in the very same solid bronze casket with the gold hand bars that Michael Jackson was buried in.