Funeral services announced for Roger Di Paolo, including transport in a historic hearse to Standing Rock

old fashioned photo of a team of white horses pulling a hearse down aa wide dirt street with a single building in the background.
Photo courtesy of Nathanael Billow

Calling hours for Roger Di Paolo will be held at Bissler & Sons funeral home on Wednesday, June 23 from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

Services will be at University Newman Center in Kent on Thursday, June 24 at 11 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Nathanael Billow

Di Paolo’s casket will be transported from the Newman Center to Standing Rock Cemetery in an historic 1870s hearse, at his family’s request.

The hearse was purchased by The Billow Company in 1875 from the Rockford Carriage Company in Sterling, Illinois. It was rented out to Bissler & Sons since its inception in 1913, and has been in service in the county for over 100 years, serving as a fitting tribute to Di Paolo’s dedication to Portage County and its history.

The carriage will be pulled by a team of two black Clydesdales, the biggest in Portage County, said funeral director Nathanael Billow.

A celebration of Di Paolo’s life will take place that evening from 4-6 p.m. at the Kent State University Hotel.

Read Di Paolo’s obituary in The Portager

Correction: Because of inaccurate information provided to The Portager, a previous version of this story reported the carriage was made by the Riddle Coach and Hearse Company of Ravenna.

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Natalie Wolford is managing editor at The Portager. A native of Randolph, she studied film in New York City and is producing a feature-length documentary about her aunt, a small-town journalist.