Tractor after tractor, one vehicle after another, people drove by East Windsor’s Stanton Equipment Friday, paying respects to owner Scot Stanton who passed away after a long cancer battle.
Stanton’s daughter, Amanda stood in the driveway, blowing kisses as vehicles rolled past, maintaining social distance. The parking area was decorated with flowers and photos, as the business was used in lieu of a funeral home.
While people rolled their windows down to express their condolences Amanda thanked them for coming.
“Incredible. Just incredible,” she said, touched by the turnout.
Amanda conceived the idea. After 40 years in the agricultural community, she knew many people wanted to say goodbye to her father. So, in a time where group gatherings are restricted, she found another way.
“Everybody really wanted to pay tribute to him so I just thought if everybody just kind of drove their tractors through,” she said.
Family, friends and customers, some from hundreds of miles away, came to this drive-thru wake and memorial.
“I think this is fantastic considering what we’re going through right now as a nation and social distancing and stuff like that, I think this is incredible,” said friend, Mike Dalessio of Somers.
Despite the realities the world is facing, people came together with the priority being love and respect. Hundreds attended calling hours from noon to 3 p.m.
“It was more than I expected,” said Eddie Graczewski, a longtime friend who worked with Stanton for decades. “The outcry of all the friends, family. He was just an outstanding gentleman.”
Although there was no hugging and physical consoling, those who came provided comfort to a family grieving.
“I think right now we all need a little positivity with everything we’re going through and that’s what Scot would’ve done too,” said Stanton.
It was an event that perhaps, symbolized the spirit of what can be done in these extremely difficult times.