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US mummy Stoneman Willie to get proper burial after 128 years

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A man known as Stoneman Willie, who has been mummified and on display at a funeral home in Reading, Pennsylvania for 128 years, is set to receive a proper burial. 

The man, whose identity was unknown for many years, died of kidney failure in a local jail in 1895 and his body was unintentionally mummified by a mortician experimenting with new embalming techniques.

Stoneman Willie was displayed in a coffin, dressed in a suit with a bow tie. His hair and teeth are still intact, and his skin has a leathery texture. 

The state had granted the funeral home permission to keep the body for monitoring the experimental embalming process.

However, Auman’s Funeral Home has now identified Stoneman Willie using historical documents and plans to reveal his name when they lay him to rest later this week. The city of Reading will memorialize Willie, who has been part of the city’s folklore for generations.

We don’t refer to him as a mummy. We refer to him as our friend Willie,” said Kyle Blankenbiller, funeral director. “He has just been become such an icon, such a storied part of not only Reading’s past but certainly its present.”

As part of Reading’s 275th anniversary celebrations, a parade was held where Willie’s casket was carried in a motorcycle hearse. 

Willie will be on display at Auman’s Funeral Home throughout the week before his final journey through the streets of Reading and burial at a local cemetery.

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