Hassan Dervish died of cancer after having spent 40 years as an ice cream man in London, and his community showed up for his funeral.
Hassan Dervish, 62, was an ice cream man for 40 years and after he passed away, the ice cream truck community held a funeral procession fit for a king to honor the man. Dervish's brother called him 'King of the ice cream.' A video of the tribute was shared on Twitter by Louisa Davies who watched it happen in real-time. "Just witnessed an ice cream man’s funeral and all the ice cream vans came and followed in solidarity. I AM SOBBING," they wrote. The moving tribute went viral immediately, garnering 864k likes and 127k shares. The video showed 10 ice cream vans following the funeral car of Dervish, playing their jingles, reported Sky News. The procession took place in southeast London on Friday with many friends and family turning up to pay their respects to Dervish.
Thought it was an unusual time of year to hear an ice-cream van during my morning meetings until I saw the procession go by pic.twitter.com/KTPwfl7R8n— Dave Bull (@_davebull) December 17, 2021
Dervish's brother, Savash Turkel, revealed that the 62-year-old had arrived in southeast London in 1980 before working as an ice cream man for over 40 years. He was loved by his customers, said his brother. "It was a passion for him," said Turkel. "He was very popular among customers and other ice cream men, if it wasn't for the pandemic I think lots more ice cream men would have been part of the procession." He added that Dervish went on to set up an ice cream factory in Lewisham in the early 2000s. "He was a well-loved family man, a good father, and he was loved by everybody he met," added Turkel.
I attended this funeral, I’m amazed how much of an impact it has had to the area 🥰 pic.twitter.com/ci4HVAk2io— Ismail Mehmet (@ismail_mehmet) December 17, 2021
Turkel said it was an emotional moment to see the trucks following suit. “The first one came and then there was another and then there was another,” said Turkel, reported The Washington Post. “All of a sudden, there were probably 10 ice cream trucks that followed him all the way to the cemetery. There were so many ice cream trucks for my brother.” Turkel was overcome with emotion and speechless, watching each truck going by. His brother was loved very much, that much he knew. There were multiple videos of the ice cream truck procession. A person going by Dave Bull posted a video and wrote, "Thought it was an unusual time of year to hear an ice-cream van during my morning meetings until I saw the procession go by."
Turkel added that Dervish was passionate about helping others and made it a point to help his friends and family. “That’s why so many people loved him," said Turkel. Ismail Mehmet, who went to Dervish's funeral, only realized on that day how loved Dervish was in the community. "I attended this funeral, I’m amazed how much of an impact it has had to the area," he wrote on Twitter.
Turkel said Dervish had been diagnosed with cancer in 2019, adding that he had suffered in the last two years and had to undergo many treatments. He passed away on November 12 after battling Stage 4 cancer that had “spread all throughout his body.” Coronavirus restrictions had limited the number of people who could come for the ceremony on Friday, but the gesture from the ice cream trucks and the love of the community showed what Dervish meant to the community. Turkel paid tribute to his brother on Facebook, writing, "Rest in eternal peace, my brother. King of the ice cream."