Family impressed by kindness of bikers

Published 12:55 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

When Dionne Pounds Maricelli asked for a “motorcycle funeral procession” for her recently deceased grandmother, she had no idea the response would be so fast and so widespread.

Maricelli said that her grandmother, Lanita Pounds from Bogalusa, came home from hospice on Sept. 19 and was told she only had a short time to live. Pounds’ life-long wish was to have a funeral procession of motorcycles after her death.

“My dad, her oldest, put me in charge of trying to make that happen,” Maricelli said. “He said if I could get at least eight bikes, she would be happy.”

Maricelli made a request through social media and other avenues, and quickly received a response from John Jones.

Maricelli said that Jones, who lives in Bogalusa and goes by the nickname of “Big Daddy,” lost his leg offshore and now devotes his life to making a difference for others. Jones had recently built a custom-built hearse connected to the back of his motorcycle, and told Maricelli that Pounds would be the first to ride in it.

“I had so many responses from bikers with big hearts,” Maricelli said.

Jones and seven other bikers also visited Pounds on Sept. 25, before her passing. Maricelli said that Jones wanted to meet Pounds and let her know that her wish would be granted.

“These guys don’t know her like we do, but as John was speaking to her, tears rolled down his cheeks,” Maricelli said.

Pounds passed away on Sept. 28, and the funeral was set for Oct. 1. With Jones leading the procession, more than 70 bikers participated in Pounds’ funeral.

“She was a godly lady they didn’t even know,” Maricelli said. “She was a precious, mostly quiet woman that had a love for the sound of loud pipes. I have so much gratitude toward these bikers.

“They get a bad reputation sometimes, and even though they might look tough on the outside, their hearts are as big as Texas.”