EDNA, Texas. In dark time, a Texas company is lending a helping hand to the family of fallen solider Vanessa Guillen.
Trey Ganem is the owner of casket company, Soulshine Industries. For years, he has been creating personalized caskets. Many are designed with the deceased individual’s favorite hobbies, nationality, and even cartoon characters.
“It’s just amazing when you see families come to a funeral service, to see them start talking about the good things,” Ganem said.
When Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen died, many people in the community reached out to Ganem asking to honor her. With the family’s permission, Ganem and his team immediately went to work and created a personalized casket in two days.
“God’s given me this gift to pay forward to families and that’s the best I could do right now,” he added.
Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen’s story caught national attention after her remains were found in a shallow grave near the Leon River in Bell County.
“You know as soon as I saw the story my heart sank because I have kids…the story is mind blowing and I wanted to reach out any way that I could,” said Ganem.
The casket’s designs includes Guillen’s favorite color, emerald green, the Virgin Mary, and the Mexican flag to honor her heritage.
“It was one thing they didn’t have to worry about but what an honor it is to do this for this young lady,” Ganem continued.
Last year, the designer donated a casket to the family of Maleah Davis, the Houston 4-year-old was tragically killed. In Years past, he has designed caskets for the late Soul Singer Percy Sledge and NFL Player Tray Walker.
Attorney for the Guillen family, Natalie Khawam said the family will be using the casket for the funeral. The date has not been announced.