By Leah Fox
The family of a fast food lover chose unconventional funeral wake cakes to celebrate his life – super realistic sweet treats made to look like KFC.
Teacher Kevin Little, originally from Oxford, died at his home in Nantong, China, on July 30, the day after his 39th birthday, with his grieving family celebrating his life with the quirky dessert at his funeral last Friday [11 Oct].
Jess Bawn, 25, and partner Adam Little, 36, Kevin’s brother, commissioned the ‘Ken’s Friend Chicken’-themed cake for the expat’s funeral after a gruelling nine-week struggle to fly his body back to the UK.
The £200 creation, made by Selina McCloud, took three days to make and features a selection of nuggets, fillets, drumsticks, fries, and a burger – which all could pass off as a real meal deal despite being made from rice krispies and crushed cornflakes.
Jess, a stay-at-home mum from Portsmouth, said: “It was a very silly idea, but that’s just who Kevin was – we asked to add 21 cupcakes with chicken and chips on top as a ‘21 cake salute’ to Kevin’s life.
“When we saw the finished cake, we were absolutely in awe!”
A keen traveller, Kevin settled in Nantong, a province of Jiangsu, China in 2008 and began working as an English teacher.
According to his family, he was a local celebrity and even saved three people from a house fire when firefighters refused to step in because they believed it was too dangerous.
His family believe his death may have been related to epilepsy, and are waiting for results from a second autopsy that was recently carried out in the UK.
Adam, a warehouse manager, said: “Kevin would have loved the cake and would have told everyone that they wouldn’t like it, then he’d taken it away to eat it all himself.
“He was a hero in China and people recognised him while he walked down the street – he was invited to dinner almost every night because he was so well-known.
“He loved fast food, and would eat anything but the cake was something different to what he would have potentially been eating in China but he did love takeaways from a chicken shop.
“When we got the cake I thought ‘that’s not a cake, that’s actual food that they’re trying to pass off as a cake and surely it won’t taste that good’.
“Jess had to reassure me that it was a cake and it did taste amazing, it just looked so realistic.
“Everyone at the wake had a laugh at the cake because of how real it looked and the children there were telling us they didn’t want them because they had real chips on – it was absolutely out of this world.”
It took nine weeks for Kevin’s body to be flown back to Portsmouth, and a further two weeks to hold the funeral due to issues with several processes, raising money and language barriers.
After the long battle, his family thanked those who helped raise money to bring him back to the UK, including charity REST (Repatriation Services Trust).
Adam added: “Kevin was outgoing, fun and a proper gentleman who would always help people out – he lived live big and his dreams were bigger.
“His funeral was more of a celebration of life and we all laughed a lot about the amazing cake that was made for him.”
Selina McCloud from Tiers of Joy in Gosport created the fake chicken masterpiece after making realistic-looking cakes before.
She said: “I love seeing people’s faces when they come to pick up their cakes.
“When Jess and Adam came to pick the cake up, they stood for about half an hour admiring how it looked and it was something special for their family member’s send off.”