Elvis’ Father Felt an ‘Obligation’ to Fans After His Son’s Death 

Elvis Presley’s father, Vernon, was devastated by the demise of his son. Although Vernon and others in Elvis’ life had been fearful about him, his demise nonetheless got here as a shock. Vernon was deep in mourning and understood that many followers had been, too. In accordance to Graceland maid Nancy Rooks, Vernon Presley felt an obligation to Elvis’ followers within the days after his demise.

Elvis’ father, Vernon, wished to do one thing for followers after his son’s demise

Forward of Elvis’ funeral service, Vernon determined to host a public viewing of his physique at Graceland. He opened the doorways for hundreds of followers to come pay their respects. Whereas he felt this was the correct transfer, Graceland safety disagreed.

“Secretly they felt they needed to let Vernon know that it was not such a good idea to allow thousands of shocked and emotional fans to not only get onto the grounds of Graceland, but actually take a few steps inside the mansion,” Rooks wrote in her guide Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Keep in minds. “There was also the fear of a riot if that many fans, already emotionally overwrought and burdened by the death of their idol, should suddenly become, perhaps not intentionally, hysterical and out of control.”

Elvis and Vernon Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Pictures

Vernon went forward with the plan, although.

“Vernon, through tear-stained eyes, said something to the effect that, ‘Elvis would want us to let as many fans through as possible. Let’s keep the gates open as long as we can. I want as many people to have one last look at my son as possible.’”

Rooks believed that Vernon felt a way of obligation to the followers that had arrived to share in his grief.

“The decision was made to extend the viewing another hour, in hopes of getting as many waiting fans through the line as possible,” she wrote. “Even after another hour, however, the lines appeared to be growing even longer. Vernon, feeling an obligation to the many fans who were still waiting outside in the extreme temperatures, could not bring himself to close the gates just yet, and so another half hour was added to the viewing time.”

Elvis’ father was beside himself with grief

Rooks famous that whereas Vernon made choices concerning the viewing hours, he appeared “so frail and vulnerable” all that day. He struggled with the loss of his son, although he defined that he took consolation in his religion.

“I am more heartbroken than I can express over Elvis’s death,” he wrote, per Good Housekeeping. “Yet I’m comforted by the sure knowledge that my son was a gift from God, and his life was always in God’s hands. From one point of view, I would have wished him to live forever. Yet I know that his early death, like all of his life, was a part of God’s plan.”

Priscilla Presley discovered it wonderful that so many followers got here to present their respects

Although safety fearful about letting so many followers into Graceland, Elvis’ household took consolation in understanding how well-loved he was. All through the visiting hours, Priscilla Presley watched the crowds of mourners streaming into the house.

A black and white picture of crowds fathered under a sign that says Rest in Peace Elvis. They stand near a dry cleaner's and a wine store. There is a car in the bottom right of the image.
Elvis’ funeral | Gilbert UZAN/Gamma-Rapho by way of Getty Pictures

“Soon the casket was placed in the entrance hall and opened for viewing,” she wrote in her guide Elvis and Me. “I sat in Grandma’s room most of that afternoon as thousands of mourners from all over the world passed by, paying their last respects. Many wept; some men and women even fainted. Others lingered at the casket, refusing to believe it was him. He was truly loved, admired, and respected.”

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