There may be a few celebrities seeking Mount Vernon, WA funeral services now so that all the arrangements for their funerals are in place when they die. However, a lot of celebrities don’t preplan their funerals and instead leave all the final arrangements to their families, just like much of the rest of America does.
Mohammed Ali, the heavyweight boxing champion, preplanned his funeral in great detail. He began years before his death in 2016. He wanted an open and inclusive funeral and he brought everyone who was to be involved in his funeral into a meeting to discuss the details. Ali realized he belonged to America, and he wanted as many people as wanted to be able to pay their respects to him. He also insisted that all memorial services for him be conducted in alignment with Muslim traditions.
Ali began the four-day funeral process with an “I am Ali” festival that was coordinated with the city of Louisville, KY. The one-day festival celebrated Ali’s life and his determination, and it includes arts, education, and entertainment venues. On the second day, an Islamic funeral prayer program was held in Louisville at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. On the third day, Ali’s funeral procession traveled along Louisville’s Mohammed Ali Boulevard, past his childhood home, and then to Cave Hill Cemetery, where a private burial was held. Ali’s memorial service was held on the fourth day at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. It featured readings from the Quran, remarks from religious leaders in other faiths, eulogies given by Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel, and Billy Crystal, and a poetry selection by Malcolm X’s daughter, Attallah Shabazz.
Harper Lee planned her funeral in advance as well. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird was famously reclusive in life, and she continued that tradition in her death. Her funeral was private with only the people who made up her intimate circle. She was eulogized by Wayne Flint, using a eulogy she requested. The eulogy was a tribute entitled “Atticus Inside Ourselves” that Flint gave in 2006 when Lee won the Birmingham Pledge Foundation award for racial justice. Then she was privately buried in the cemetery where her sister and parents were also buried.
David Bowie was a creative genius, known for pushing the envelope, in life. As he lay dying from liver cancer, however, he told his wife he wanted to go “without any fuss.” After Bowie died in January 2016, he was privately cremated and no funeral service was held.
Prince, who also died in 2016, was known for his desire for privacy. He made simple funeral arrangements, which consisted of a meal of beans, hummus, and pasta that was attended by a few close friends and family members. However, Prince did not have a will, so his estate is still be contested by those close to him.
Preplanning funerals, as these celebrities did (with the notable exception of Prince not having a will), is a great gift to those we leave behind. First, it takes the guesswork out of what our wishes and desires for our funerals are. But, more importantly, it removes the heavy burden of trying to plan and make arrangements for funerals from our families who are already under a tremendous amount of stress from shock (even it’s expected) and grief.
For additional information about preplanning funeral services, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel is here to help. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can contact us today at (360) 733-0510.