July 21, 2014 10:05:42 AM
HOLLY SPRINGS -- The Holly Springs mansion that became a popular Elvis Presley museum will reopen to the public during Elvis Presley week with a memorial for owner Paul MacLeod.
MacLeod was found dead Thursday on his front porch. He was 71.
MacLeod's family, friends and lifetime members will lead tours of Graceland Too on Aug. 12 to raise money for MacLeod's funeral and estate expenses, attorney Phillip K. Knecht and the city of Holly Springs said in a news release.
The day will end with a midnight candlelight vigil.
MacLeod's funeral cannot be scheduled yet. A backlog at the state medical examiner's office could hold up his autopsy for months, Coroner James Anderson said Sunday.
"Might begin with a month to six months," he said.
The office's three pathologists handle autopsies from much of Mississippi.
"The docs told me they're not putting a rush on anything, regardless of how important or breaking it is," Anderson said.
MacLeod's family wants him cremated but he apparently wanted an elaborate Elvis-themed burial, Knecht wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
He said the Aug. 12 fundraiser may start with a "low-key, religious ceremony" officiated by the Rev. Bruce McMillan, an Episcopal priest.
"Paul wasn't very religious but Bruce was a good friend," Knecht wrote.
He planned to spend part of Sunday searching for a will in the antebellum mansion between Graceland and Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo.
"A lot of people have various documents but we're not sure any of those would hold up as a will under Mississippi law," Knecht told The Clarion-Ledger.
If he cannot find a legal will, Knecht said, the estate would pay any outstanding bills, then be divided among MacLeod's son and two daughters.
"We didn't even know they existed until this week," Taylor said.
He wrote that debts begin with a $20,000 lien on the house. "We hope to pay it off soon, with donated money, to avoid having to sell property," Knecht said.
The museum, its walls covered floor-to-ceiling with a mishmash of photos, records, figurines, cardboard cutouts, clocks and other random kitsch featuring Elvis, is not affiliated with Graceland or the Presley estate. People could arrive at any hour, pay $5 and get a tour from the hyper-caffeinated MacLeod, who said in 2009 that he drank 24 cans of Coca-Cola a day.
"Graceland Too is honored and touched by the outpouring of sympathy for Paul, and the growing collection of soda cans at the doorsteps of Graceland Too," the announcement of the Aug. 12 fundraiser said. "We encourage Paul's fans to continue to stop by and leave these cans in his memory."
Knecht said he had no idea what might be the most valuable artifact in the collection.
"Half the world thinks there are millions of dollars in there, the other half thinks there is nothing of value at all. Of course, the Paul McLeod 'stuff' (decades of meticulous Elvis research, videos, etc.) would be priceless to his fans," he wrote.
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