PHOENIX - Funerals: it's not a topic people talk about too often, and typically, it is seen as a rather somber and solemn affair.
However, one late teacher in Arizona wanted to make sure that her funeral would be the one that can make people remember her devotion to not just education and her family.
Mary Stocks Martin passed away earlier in February. Her family said she was fun-loving, and was happy until the very end.
Her initials - MSM - got her the nickname M&M from her students.
"She was a teacher for 30 years. She used to initial everything ‘MSM,’ but that ‘S,’ in cursive of course, looks like M&M," said Mary's grandson, Billy Martin. "The students started bringing her M&Ms, memorabilia, and it just turned into something that she reflected on as part of her success as a teacher."
Over the years, Mary's M&M memorabilia piled up, and it wasn't until her death that her grandchildren realized just how big it had gotten.
The biggest surprise for Mary's loved ones was an M&M casket she made years ago with the help of her son.
"I didn't even know she had it!" said Billy.
The casket was a giant M&M holding a group of smaller bite-size pieces that bear the names of Mary's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, including 10-year-old Brooklyn, who helped to scatter M&Ms on her great-grandmother's casket.
"I saw that it had feet, and I thought it was really cool that it had, like, the names of everyone in the family," said Brooklyn.
The casket, according to Mary's family, was made to look like a blue peanut M&M, which was one of Mary's favorites. The family uploaded a video of their M&M style funeral to TikTok, and the video had over eight million views in a matter of days.
"She told us before she passed, ‘I want pictures of the coffin to go out. I want people to see it,’" said William Martin.
Mary's last wish was certainly granted, and her family said her only regret was that she wouldn't be alive to see everyone's reaction.
"I know she is probably tickled pink and smiling ear to ear out there," said Julia Martin, Mary's Granddaughter-In-Law.
"Very special treat that we got, because of the way the coffin was presented and literally shared worldwide," said William.
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