Man makes unique QR code for dad’s grave to honor atomic veteran’s incredible life story

Man makes unique QR code for dad’s grave to honor atomic veteran’s incredible life story

By Srinija Grandhi

MELROSE, MASSACHUSETTS: A man has paid a unique digital homage to his late father by developing a QR code for his gravestone that allows people who visit the cemetery to learn more about his interesting life. A spark of inspiration struck Michael Bourque, 55, an engineer and inventor from Melrose, Massachusetts, as he was grieving the loss of his father, John Harold Bourque, who died in April 2017 at the age of 87.

“When someone dies, they put a marker on the ground before you buy the stone. I thought, ‘Jeez, no one’s gonna see this. There’s so much to know about my dad.’ And in an instant, I came up with this idea,” Bourque told Daily Mail. Michael created the weatherproof, glow-in-the-dark QR code medallion using a 3D printer before glueing it to his father’s tombstone.

(Michael P. Bourque/ Linkedin)

What is the QR code medallio?

The QR code medallion was created by the inventor Michael Bourque using a 3D printer and weatherproof, night-glow plastic. Visitors who scan it with their smartphone are directed to a website with his father’s biography, pictures, and a chronology of his life.

Who was Michael Bourque’s dad?

John Harold Bourque, the fifth and youngest child, joined the American Army in 1951 for the Korean War after being born in Melrose during the Great Depression. The atomic veteran, who was a carpenter by profession, also built homes that were ruptured during the nuclear testing at Camp Desert Rock in Nevada. “He had to hide in a bunker on the ground while they blew off this atomic weapon,” his son detailed. “Then his job was to go back in and see the destruction that it had caused,” he said.

‘Great dad’

Bourque described John as a “great dad” who encouraged his interest in invention and engineering. “We grew up poor, and my dad was too cheap to pay for anybody to fix anything. So I was that a young kid who held the flashlight while we fixed everything,” he stated. “My dad taught me everything from plumbing to electricity to carpentry, and I credit a lot of my creativity and innovative skills and abilities to make things to my dad.” The loving son continued by saying that his dad had a “great a sense of humor and would enjoy the QR code he created for his gravestone. “You know what he’d be saying about this product? He’d be saying, ‘This is one of those products that people are dying to use,'” he quipped.

‘He helped me bring my company to life’

In his later years, the self-described futurist remembered how his father had assisted him in starting his cannabis vaporizer business. Although Michael was initially reluctant to tell him about his product as his father was adamantly opposed to marijuana use when he was a child, he ultimately received his complete support. “I was really worried that he would look down on me. He did quite the contrary,” he stated. “He helped me bring this company to life. He helped me bring the product to life, and it gave me a lot of courage,” he said.

‘What a lovely way to memorialize him’


It didn’t take long for Bourque to receive numerous remarks and requests to create comparable codes for other people’s loved ones after posting about the QR code on LinkedIn, where he has over 18,000 followers. “Your dad would be incredibly proud Michael!” wrote one user on LinkedIn. Another user said, “This is great Michael! Great news 🙏🏼” One person commented, “This is awesome. Congrats, Michael P. Your dad is honored through your actions.” “I love it. Hats off to you. And I will be using for my loved ones someday soon,” read another comment. One person said, “To love and honor our parents to the very end is one of the responsibilities of birth, because the end is the beginning. Great solution Michael. May he rest in peace but be known by many.” One noted, “What a lovely way to memorialize him. 👍”

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