With COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions preventing a public funeral or any other typical memorial for the late Joe Diffie, the "John Deere Green" and "Pickup Man" singer's neighbors in Nolensville, Tennessee got creative. On March 30, just one day after the 61-year-old country music star died from coronavirus complications, a parade of John Deere tractors, pickup trucks and emergency vehicles rolled down the streets of Nolensville, a town 22 miles southeast of Nashville.
Through a little redneck ingenuity, Diffie's friends and neighbors gave the beloved star a sendoff while being mindful of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
"Since the family can't really do a normal memorial service and funeral right now with the restrictions, we thought this would be a neat way for folks that loved his music and loved him," said Nolensville resident Lisa Garramone to the Williamson Herald. "We wanted to show his wife and family that we were thinking about him. We thought this was a good way to do it and keep everybody safe."
In addition a Nolensville Strong t-shirt honoring Diffie through its "John Deere Green" design can be ordered here.
"We are Nolensville Strong and painting the town John Deere Green in honor of Joe Diffie (a Nolensville resident whose famous songs included one titled "John Deere Green" and passed on Sunday, March 29 due to coronavirus complications) while showing our support for one another," reads the shirt's description. "All net proceeds benefit the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders who are on the front lines with us fighting to save more lives during this pandemic."
As of April 1, Diffie is the only major country star to pass away after testing positive for COVID-19. Others in the country music community to test positive for the coronavirus include Kalie Shorr, Laura Bell Bundy, Ray Benson and John Prine.
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