Velma Gaines-Hamock

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Velma Louise Gaines Hamock
Born May 25, 1910
Died October 3, 2000
Nationality American

Velma Louise Gaines Hamock (May 25, 1910 – October 3, 2000) was an American funeral home owner in Paducah, Kentucky. In 1949 she inherited the business, at one time the only African-American owned funeral home in the city, after the death of her husband A. Z. Hamock. She is noted for having kept the mummy of Speedy Atkins, which her husband had preserved in 1928, for more than 40 more years before burial in 1994.[1][2][3][4] About 200 people attended the 1994 funeral and burial of Atkins in Maplelawn Cemetery in Paducah.[5] As had her husband, Velma Hamock kept Atkins' preserved body in a closet when it was not displayed to tourists.[5] She died in October 2000.


  1. ^ [1] "Man to be buried in '91," Washington Post, 16 July 1987.
  2. ^ "66-tear-old corpse to be laid to rest in Paducah," Lexington Herald-Leader, 26 June 1994.
  3. ^ "TV show to feature Paducah corpse," Lexington Herald-Leader, 4 January 2003
  4. ^ "Black man who died 66 years ago is finally buried", Jet, 29 August 1994
  5. ^ a b "Embalmed 'Speedy' Is Laid to Rest - Finally", Chicago Sun-Times, 6 August 1994

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