Epic Memorials had the great pleasure of assisting our first client in the creation of a one-of-a-kind celebration of life in honor of her husband, legendary Bellingham Firefighter Captain John Kunnap. The event was held on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
During our initial consultation, John's wife Lydia and her sister Lucy described to me John's unique habits, passions, and larger-than-life personality, as well as Lydia's vision for his celebration of life. John spent 38 years serving as a Bellingham firefighter and his "happy place" was enjoying a week at Burning Man (he and Lydia even honeymooned there!) Naturally, Lydia and I agreed that a "fire" theme would be perfect for John's tribute. Lydia imagined fire dancers and I thought a ceremony fashioned after a campfire story session was fitting for a man who was known for his storytelling finesse. Following our consultation, I set about bringing together all of the elements required to bring Lydia's vision to life. From booking rental equipment and making necessary purchases to creating a graphic design unique to John and developing a plan for the ceremony, I handled details big and small leaving Lydia free to focus on the tedious business affairs that must be addressed when someone dies.
Before he passed away, John made just two requests for his celebration of life- his bagpiper friend from the fire department would play Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCartney and the event would be held at his and Lydia's home, on the land he spent his life crafting into a beautiful landscape featuring a lovely pond and a diverse collection of beautiful trees. John's request presented me with a lot of new event planning experiences as I've never hosted an event in a space with absolutely no amenities- just raw, picturesque land. Besides the usual event requirements, the planning process with Lydia included renting porta-potties, generators, heaters, lights and tents and also required consideration of traffic flow and parking. I'm happy to report I managed the extra demands of this particular event with ease!
Despite a tardy taco truck and some unforecasted rain that started to fall just as guests started to arrive, all went well. The bagpiper played and the fire dancers danced and many hilarious stories about John were shared by the campfire. My #superhusband Chris and I received nothing but compliments for the role Epic Memorials played in making it happen and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to help Lydia create the fitting tribute her husband deserved while supporting her in her earliest stages of grief. Thanks go to John for being such a dynamic first honoree and bringing dear Lydia into our lives.
Additional photos of John's celebration of life can be found in our portfolio.
Everlife Entertainment . Bellingham, WA