Man paints dad’s grave in honor of Tennessee Volunteers

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — An East Tennessee man found a unique way to decorate his father’s grave.

He said it’s just what his dad would want.

Orange and white — it’s a way of life.

“God, family and Tennessee football. Pretty much how it’s always been,” Jamie Beckler said.

It’s not the end zone in Neyland Stadium — it’s Rickey Beckler’s grave.

Rickey, Jamie Beckler’s dad, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2008.

“He wasn’t real big on flowers, so we thought of this and this became a tradition,” Jamie said.

It was a tradition to watch every Big Orange football game.

“He was quick with the criticism and also there with the faith that we’d pull through,” Jamie said. “Hope he’s watching down and rooting for them, especially this season.”

Making the checkerboard pattern takes about an hour to an hour and a half and lasts a few months.

But is that true Tennessee orange? Jamie said it’s as close as you could get.

Painting also brings him closer to his dad.

“Definitely soul reviving to come here and talk to him.”

Just looking at it, there’s no need to wonder if this Vol for life is happy with how things look.

“He’s got that little grin on his face he had, probably humming Rocky Top too.”