‘She sacrificed for us’: Casket maker donates casket to Vanessa Guillen’s family

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 7:51 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM CDT
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EDNA, Texas (KWTX) - Trey Ganem of SoulShine industries has been painting caskets for the last seven years.

He says when he heard about Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance and death, he knew he had to reach out to the family to ask what they would like to feature in its design to honor the young soldier.

“God has given me this gift to pay it forward to families as best as I can,” he said.

“For her, I couldn’t imagine what her family’s going through. I have kids her age.”

Ganem says the process is meticulous, making sure each casket is as unique as the person it honors.

“They wanted the Virgin Mary on it, the Mexican flag, the American flag, she loves soccer and her number on there,” he said.

“First we tear it apart, we take the interior out, sand it down, paint it, do the design on the lids, the corners and reassemble it back together. Really, it only takes us about a day to do one and we got Vanessa’s done very quickly.”

He says close ties to the military are what motivated him to step forward.

“For me, anything I can do for the family is an honor,” he said.

“This is nothing compared to what she sacrificed for us.”

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