Celebrity funerals . . . and funeral celebrities

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There were a couple of items in the news recently that brought about this headline.  The first was the death and funeral services for young actor Chadwick Boseman and the second item that I caught was the notice that CBS is developing a one-hour drama series that will be called “Closure”.

“Closure” is loosely based on Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member, Andre Dawson, and his later life-story in that he purchased a funeral home following his baseball playing days.  Dawson entered the funeral home business part-time in 2003 and now owns a funeral home in Florida.  Funeral Director Daily ran a story, entitled “From the Hall of Fame to home removals”  on Dawson in 2018 that you can read here.

And, here is a recent story from the New York Post on the television show “Closure”.  According to the story, the 66-year old Dawson will serve as a consultant for the series.

The funeral of Chadwick Boseman.  I have to admit that I’m not much into current events in Hollywood or the entertainment scene, so when I heard of the death of Chadwick Boseman I was somewhat unaware.  I later realized that he was the Black actor that had portrayed Jackie Robinson in the movie “42”.  If you are a baseball fan, you will realize that “42” was the number that Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson wore on his jersey while breaking baseball’s color barrier.  I loved that movie and now realized that the actor that portrayed Robinson was the person that had died.

I’ve since learned that Boseman was probably best known for his acting in the Marvel movie “Black Panther”.  I have not seen that movie but understand that role is where Boseman became a mega-star.

This article from Fox 13 -Memphis tells of the funeral arrangements for Boseman, who died of colon cancer, at age 43, on August 28.  The article mentions that the Marcus D. Brown Funeral Home in Anderson, South Carolina, is handling the arrangements.  Here is their website and here is the obituary of Chadwick Boseman on that web-site.  Mr. Brown is quoted in the Fox article where he says, “It’s an honor to make arrangements with this family.  I’ve known them for many years, so it’s an honor, but it humbles me as well.”

If you read the obituary you will see that funeral services will be private.  However, I find it enlightening that there was also a public service and recognition of Mr. Boseman’s death in his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina.  As a death care professional, I think that public recognition is necessary and good.

Here is what the Fox article says about that, “A special memorial service was held Thursday in Anderson at the Anderson Sports & Entertainment Complex.  The event was free and open to the public. . . . .a showing of “Black Panther” followed the service.  Many young attendees dressed up as the comic character, according to The Associated Press.”  In my opinion, what a great way for young people to see that remembrance celebrations matter.  Kudos to whomever thought of the event.


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