Man gets his dying wish: To be buried with cheesesteaks

In this Aug. 13, 2014 file photo, a cheesesteak from Pat's King of Steaks sits on a table where Democratic National Committee (DNC) representatives considering where to host the 2016 convention, ate lunch in Philadelphia. Democrats have selected Philadelphia as the site of the party's 2016 national convention, choosing a patriotic backdrop for the nomination of its next presidential candidate. The Democratic National Committee said Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 the convention will be held the week of July 25, 2016. The two other finalists were Brooklyn, New York, and Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

PLAINS, Pa. (AP) — A man who always joked that he didn’t want to venture into the afterlife hungry got his wish when he was buried with two cheesesteaks from his favorite sandwich shop — Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia.

According to his grandson, Dominic Lussi, when asked what he wanted to take with him when he died, Richard Lussi replied, “What do you think? Pat’s cheesesteak!”

“No onions,” his grandson said he would say, “because they’ll come back to haunt me.”

The 76-year-old father of four died of heart complications on Oct. 10.

Richard Lussi, from Plains Township, was a rabid fan of Philadelphia sports teams, and that loyalty spread to the famed cheesesteak shop after a pregame meal decades ago, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We hear that there’s other cheesesteak places in Philly but we haven’t seen them,” his son, John Lussi, said.

Richard Lussi loved the sandwiches even though he had a bad heart and his doctor had warned him to watch what he ate, said Dominic Lussi.

At family gatherings, Richard Lussi would often challenge family members to drive 2 1/2 hours to Philadelphia and back to get the sandwiches.

So the day before his funeral, his son, grandson and two friends made the trip to pick up cheesesteaks for the coffin. They had planned to buy just one until they remembered a piece of advice he had given them: “If you’re going to Pat’s you always get two, you never order just one.”

Pat’s owner, Frank Olivieri Jr., said he was flattered and bewildered by someone choosing to be buried with his sandwiches. As for what the second cheesesteak might be for, he speculated: “Maybe it’s a bribe for Saint Peter.”

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