Arthur Werner died on Sunday at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem, the 89-year old was renowned for his passion towards motorcycles. Werner made it clear that he wanted to be buried in the sidecar of his 1990 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail.
The Forever Remembered Hearse Co. fleet has three motorcycle hearses that are owned by supervisor David Heintzelman and his brother Robert. The most striking is their motorcycle-driven hearse, a custom-design by Orange County Choppers, a company made famous by the former reality show American Chopper.
Werner’s obituary photo was the Harley-Davidson logo, which was placed for the viewing on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Following a service, he will be transported in the motorcycle hearse to Bethlehem Memorial Park Cemetery, where he will be buried with the sidecar.
Werner started out racing stock cars at Dorney Park before he turned to racing Harleys. Once he found the motorcycle he never looked back. Heintzelman revealed that Warner bought his prized Harley in 1990 with his retirement bonus, which he earned working 42 years as a Bethlehem Steel Corp. welder.
Werner wasn't content to ride alone. He expected his son and daughter-in-law to get in on the action. In 1993, he got them both to ride all the way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota with their youngest child, Andrea. Then the crew headed to Yellowstone National Park, where they camped out.
As they were heading home after 700 miles on the road, Smokey turned to his dad and said it was time to stop to find a hotel. But, Werner wasn't ready to stopover. He tried to convince them to keep on, saying it was only 200 more miles to their cabin.
Warner passed down his '62 Sportster to his son, Smokey, then his grandson, Arthur III. Now his great-grandson Arthur IV owns it. Werner is just missing the birth of his fifth great-great-grandchild, Arthur the V, who is expected to arrive in October. Werner, who the family called Pop or Pops, was at peace knowing that he was leaving the world the way he wanted.