‘This Is the Last Joke He's Playing on Us'

A local woman lost her late husband for a second time on Tuesday.

The incident began Tuesday morning when a pet store nearly 3,000 miles away got a very unusual delivery.

"At first I thought it was a joke," the store's owner said. "I was like, 'Well, they just gave me the wrong paperwork.' "

Unfortunately, it was the right paperwork.

"I opened it, and instead of my fish-packing list, I have a dead body packing list," the man added.

Instead of tropical fish, the box contained the corpse of John Kenoyer who, until last week, lived in Santee.

"I don't know how they could mix up exotic fish with a casket, you know?" John's widow, Mary Kenoyer, said.

Kenoyer said she found out about the situation over phone.

"Called me up and told me my husband's casket was at the pet store, they'd delivered it to the wrong place," Kenoyer said.

The couple had been married for 40 years when John died peacefully on Friday night.

"You're sad, and it's not easy to lose someobody you love," Mary said. "But then you look at it. It was a blessing for him."

It was a blessing because it ended John's long struggle with Alzheimer's. Early on, the couple had decided his body should be donated to a Philadelphia company called Lifequest for research purposes.

"We were always in the clinical trial looking for help, so we thought it would be good to donate -- his brain especially -- so they could do research on it and hopefully someday find a cure for this nasty disease," Kenoyer said.

Then, however, the body of the man who had, ironically, been a mail carrier for 15 years ended up not at Lifequest but at Pets Plus USA. You might think his widow -- surrounded by family for her husband's upcoming memorial service -- would be bitter, angry, but she prefers to look at it like this:

"He's afraid to fly, and then he found out they were shipping his body by airplane, and I said, 'He's going to get even with me,' either up in heaven or I guess he's doing it now," Kenoyer said.

Kenoyer said her husband was always a practical joker and figured he was just playing one last joke.

"He was such a practical joker, so I just think this is the last joke he's playing on us."

US Airways acknowledged the incident in a statement released Tuesday:

"Regrettably, there was an unfortunate mixup today at the US Airways Cargo facility near Philadelphia International Airport. The mixup occurred due to a verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative. We are working to rectify the situation and are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused."

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