PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A video shows a widower doing the Mummer's strut beside the hearse carrying his wife of 50 years.
FOX 29's Bruce Gordon has the story.
When Rich Toner saw the hearse bearing the body of his beloved wife, Kathleen, he couldn’t help but strut.
“Just an angel. She put up with me for 50 years," he told FOX 29.
When Rich married Kathleen back in 1968, he had no way of knowing she was a Mummers fanatic like no other. The string bands were her favorites, but Kathleen would watch it all from the comics, fancy brigades and wenches. She recorded endless hours of parade performances through the years.
Each New Year’s Eve when midnight struck.
“She would take me down and we would dance in the middle of the street. She was crazy— that woman," Rich explained.
Over the years, Kathleen‘s health deteriorated. As she lay dying in the hospital, Rich held her hand and whispered to her.“I love you, I love you. I’m sorry for anything I ever did.”
And when she passed, Richard Jr. arranged for three members of the Fralinger String Band. which was her favorite to play a favorite tune, “What a Little Moonlight Will Do.”
“At first, I wasn’t going to do anything except listen to them and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute I think she wants me to dance with them. And I just got out and started doing it," Rich explained.
And then, to top it off.
"Somebody handed me a little umbrella, so I started doing that," Rich said.
A special tribute to a special woman; however, Rich says you don’t need music to send a message to the special person in your life.
“I say to all the men out there tell your wife you love her every day," Rich said.