FRENCHTOWN — The chromed-up red Chevy pickup with the cap had one more journey to take with the man who babied it, loved it and was proud to call it his own over the years.

It carried Michael Frye from the Meadville funeral home where well-wishers had gathered to St. Hippolyte Cemetery where his family put him to rest.

The grave is within walking distance of the Guys Mills home Michael’s wife and two children shared with his parents. It’s also not far from the spot where the 32-year-old was found dead on Saturday, felled by a single bullet while hunting. Authorities have yet to arrest a suspect in the case.

“He loved that truck,” said Michael’s mother, Phyllis, explaining why it was called into service Thursday.

After the pallbearers tearfully placed Michael’s casket into its bed, the truck led the roughly 26-vehicle-long funeral procession on its journey along about 10 miles of winding country roads. A bold red-colored sticker — “In Memory of Mike Frye 1975-2008” — adorned its side rear window.

Michael was a long-haul truck driver, but hadn’t worked in about two years after being injured in an accident, Phyllis said. He had undergone three neck surgeries, she said.

That didn’t keep him from his Chevy, though.

“That was his baby,” Phyllis said. “He always cleaned it and stored it in the garage — it wasn’t supposed to get dirty.”

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