Body of Steelers Fan Viewed in Recliner
PITTSBURGH - The body of rabid Pittsburgh Steelers fan James Henry Smith, who died Thursday, was laid out this week in what his family said was his favorite spot — a recliner with the Steelers on the television.
Smith, 55, of Pittsburgh, died of prostate cancer. Because his death wasn't unexpected, his family was able to plan ahead for the unusual viewing Tuesday night.
Mourners stood before a small stage erected in the viewing room of the Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home, on which funeral director Roland Criswell had placed furniture, much as it was arranged in Smith's home on game day.
Smith's feet were crossed; a pack of cigarettes and a six-pack of beer were at his side. A continuous loop of Steelers highlights was playing on TV nearby, as Smith was reclined with a television remote in his hand and a Steelers blanket across his legs.
The reaction of Smith's loved ones varied.
"I couldn't stop crying after looking at the Steeler blanket in his lap," his sister, MaryAnn Nails, 58, of Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for Wednesday's editions. "He loved football and nobody did (anything) until the game went off. It was just like he was at home."
"I saw it and I couldn't even cry," said longtime friend Mary Jones of Wilkinsburg. "People will see him the way he was. This is just a celebration."
Sorry to steal your "job" BumbleBee....Talk about a die hard fan.