CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Like his wife, Reverend Billy Graham will be laid to rest in a simple, plywood casket hand crafted by prison inmates, a Graham family spokesman said.
"Mr. Graham's casket was made by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana in 2006," Mark DeMoss said.
After Franklin Graham conducted a preaching engagement in Angola, Louisiana in 2005 the warden told him inmates had been building caskets for other inmates who died in prison.
"He asked if they could make one for his mother and father," DeMoss said. "The caskets are made of pine, plywood and lined with a mattress pad. A wooden cross is nailed to the top of the casket."
The casket cost about $200 to make and was built by inmate Richard "Grasshopper" Liggett and others whose names are burned into the wood of both Ruth and Billy Graham's casket. The Grahams requested no special upgrades to the caskets, but they were modified slightly for easier transport to multiple locations, a previous news release said.
A floral arrangement of white lilies in the shape of a cross will accompany the casket whenever it is stationary.
"Mr. Graham's five children chose to use the same floral arrangement that their mother and father often sent others on the occasion of a funeral."
A private funeral service for the beloved preacher will be held Friday, March 2 at noon at the Billy Graham Library. The service is by invitation only and will seat approximately 2,300 people. The funeral message will be delivered by Franklin Graham.