Owners Keith Davis and his wife Julane pose from inside a 52-inch (132 cms) wide burial casket made by their company, the Goliath Casket Company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).

Giant Burial Caskets

As America’s mid-sections are expanding, American industries have expanded right along with them to fit their needs, including the undertakers.

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Goliath Casket Company specializes in oversize caskets. Based in rural Indiana, the family owned and operated company is run today, by the second generation of the Davis family, husband and wife team Keith and Julane. The company was started in 1985 by Davis’ father, Forrest Davis – a career casket maker and his wife Mary.

As it became apparent that America’s girth was on the up and up by the early 1980’s, Forrest was being asked to build caskets for oversize bodies. Using what materials were available, Forrest – whose nickname was Pee-Wee referring to his diminutive stature -

was unhappy with the results, remembered Davis. One day Forrest told his work colleagues “boys, I’m going home to make an oversize casket that you would be proud to put your Mom in.”

The barn on the Davis family pig farm was converted into a factory dedicated to building oversize caskets and Goliath Casket Company was born.

In 1993 Keith, an electrician and his wife Julane took the helm of the business. Today, the growing company offers three models ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width, accommodating corpses from 300 lbs to 1000 lbs. Funerals homes will sell a Goliath Casket from between $2,000-$4,000, while a normal size casket of comparable quality starts at approximately $1,000, said Davis.

The biggest coffin Davis has ever built was a coffin measuring 7 feet 3 inches in width. for a 900 lbs. man. The casket – sporting special reinforced bottom and sides- weighed 400 lbs without the corpse. “I hope I will never make one of these again,” said Davis. However, the reality is that unless America wakes-up to their weight problem, he probably will.

In the early 1990’s when Davis took over the company the average demand for the caskets was 100 units a week. Today the average demand is 400 to 500 caskets a week.

“Obesity has crept up on everybody from the airlines, doctors, and shopping malls,” said Davis. They must all scramble to install extra wide doors and beefed-up equipment such as elevators and medical equipment to help serve this growing segment of the population.

On the funeral front, the oversize casket business has morphed into a consulting business on how to plan a funeral for the oversize departed. Davis gives advice on all aspects of the service. It isn’t always possible to hold services in a church or funeral home as the oversize casket will not always fit through the door. Creativity is the key here. Davis has seen services held in garages, parks, and sports fields in order to accommodate the caskets.

“Some oversize caskets fit in vans or Suburbans (very large cars)” explained Kyle Good of Thomas Funeral Home, also in Indiana. “In the worse case scenario, you use a flat bed truck. You hate to do it, but sometimes you don’t have a choice.”

The oversize casket won’t fit through the door of an airplane. All transportation of the caskets to the funeral homes must take place by road, train and even boat, when necessary. Funerals have had to be postponed for weeks so the casket can be transported to its destination. While the majority of caskets are delivered through shipping companies, Davis has been known to put a casket in the back of his van and haul it to other states to make it in time for the funeral.

Oversize caskets occasionally have others uses. Not long ago, Davis shipped two caskets to the neighboring state of Arkansas, where a family of four had tragically died in a car accident. The family was buried two per casket. “They died together and were buried together,” said Davis. “It’s a great way for closure. The goal is to celebrate the departed life with dignity and integrity.”


Goliath Gaskets website is at http://www.oversizecasket.com


© 2005 Text by Mimi Rohr

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Owners Keith Davis and his wife Julane pose from inside a 52-inch (132 cms) wide burial casket made by their company, the Goliath Casket Company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
01-2269-1154
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Grant Hollingsworth cutting the side panel of a large burial casket  inside the workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.  Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 1, 2005
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02-2269-0119
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Grant Hollingsworth welding the corners of a 44-inch (111 cms) wide burial casket made out of 20-gauge steel inside the workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Next to him is a 40-inch (101 cms) wide casket. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 1, 2005
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Reinforcement pieces installed at the bottom of a large burial casket made out of 20-gauge steel inside the workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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Welder Grant Hollingsworth poses inside the workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Grant Hollingsworth rolling a 40-inch (101 cms) wide burial casket made out of 20-gauge steel inside the workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.            Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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Grant Hollingsworth painting a 40-inch (101 cms) wide burial casket inside the painting station of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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The building of the main workshop of the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Debby Hollingsworth works on the interior of a 52-inch (132 cms) wide burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.                 Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 1, 2005
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Debby Hollingsworth works with a sewing machine on the fabric that will cover the inside one of the big burial caskets manufactured at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 1, 2005
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10-2269-0422
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Debby Hollingsworth tests the foam that is installed on the lid of a large burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. The foam prevents from crushing the corpse when the lid is closed. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 1, 2005
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Debby Hollingsworth works on the interior of a 52-inch (132 cms) wide burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.  Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 1, 2005
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12-2269-0603
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Debby Hollingsworth inspects the inside of a 37-inch (94 cms) wide burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 1, 2005
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Goliath Casket owner, Keith Davis, performs a bottom deflection test on a 29-inch (74 cms) wide burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Davis tests the strength of the casket by loading it with 40-pound (18 kgs) bags of salt while worker Grant Hollingsworth monitors the bottom deflection with a flashlight. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
14-2269-1008
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Goliath Casket owner, Keith Davis, installs swing bar hardware on a 29-inch (74 cms) wide burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.                Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
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15-2269-0978
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Goliath Casket owner, Keith Davis, points at the curve of the lid of a large burial casket at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. The making of a curved lid is a feature used by Goliath Caskets to prevent from crushing the corpse when the lid is closed.      Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
16-2269-1021
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A 48-inch (121 cms) wide burial casket from the Goliath Casket company is being delivered to the Thomas Funeral Home in Lynn on June 2, 2005. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
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June 2, 2005
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17-2269-1078
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Goliath Casket owner, Keith Davis, (R) is helped by worker Grant Hollingsworth to load a 48-inch (121 cms) wide burial casket inside a delivery van at the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.                Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
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18-2269-1049
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Rob Myers from the Thomas Funeral Home in Lynn, Indiana, rolls a normal size burial casket by one of the big ones made by the Goliath Casket company. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
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Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
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19-2269-1114
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Keith Davis and his wife Julane stand by a 48-inch (121 cms) wide burial casket made by their company, Goliath Casket, in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
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June 2, 2005
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20-2269-1123
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Owners Keith Davis and his wife Julane pose by some of the wide burial caskets made by their company, the Goliath Casket Company in Lynn, Indiana. The one in front of them is 52 inches (132 cms) wide. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
21-2269-1192
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Keith Davis, owner of Goliath Casket with a model of a truck carrying an oversized big burial casket, similar to the ones manufactured by his company.  Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
22-2269-1225
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Goliath Casket owner, Keith Davis, on his way to deliver two oversized burial caskets from the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana.  Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 1, 2005
Filename:
23-2269-0700
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The road sign indicating the entrance to the Goliath Casket company in Lynn, Indiana. Based in rural Indiana, Goliath Casket specializes in the manufacturing of oversized burial caskets ranging from 29 inch width to 52 inch width (74 to 132 cms), accommodating big human corpses from 300 lbs to over 1000 lbs (136 to over 453 kgs).
Title:
Giant Burial Caskets
Date:
June 2, 2005
Filename:
24-2269-1260
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