This is a story that gives new meaning to the phrase, "Last Call."
Friends and family members of Jimmy Lehr gathered at the all Around Bar in Taylor, which hosted a memorial service and funeral for Lehr.
Friends talked and laughed in a dimly lit room, as country music played in the background.
Two people tried their luck at a dart board. A game of pool was under way.
It was a typical weekday night with one exception: The casket on the dance floor.
Lehr worked at the bar for about 25 years, and family members and friends said they were fulfilling his final wish by holding his wake at the bar Wednesday. His funeral will be there at noon Thursday. .
“This was his home,” said Dave Karlson, who co-owns the bar with his wife, Shelia.
Lehr, 58, of Taylor, died Feb. 7 after suffering pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. He had talked for years about having his funeral at the All Around.
“We’d see a problem occurring at a table, and Jimmy could come up and say, ‘Hey, come on buddy, everybody is friends here.’ Nobody ever felt threatened by him. That was the secret,” Shelia Karlson said.
Lehr was married four times. His last wedding, to Patti, was held in 1996 on the same dance floor where his body lay in wake.
Lehr wore a red shirt, his body covered by a green blanket that was his favorite. A catcher’s mitt holding a ball inscribed by a grandchild rested in the casket.
Lehr had three biological children and a fourth through marriage. The grandfather of 10 enjoyed hunting, fishing, dancing and watching old country-western movies.