‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Star Beth Chapman Laid to Rest in Colorado Funeral
Dog the Bounty Hunter star Beth Chapman was laid to rest in a beautiful funeral service in Aurora, Colo., on Saturday (July 13), highlighted by an emotional eulogy from her husband, Duane "Dog" Chapman.
The service at Heritage Christian Center began with a powerful rendition of "How Great Thou Art" from gospel singer Leah Shafer before Pastor Marlon Saunders spoke, remembering Chapman as a "woman of God."
Bonnie Chapman was among those who remembered her mother tearfully, saying "I never imagined I'd lose my mom at 20 ... I never imagined a life without her."
An interpretive dance to the tune of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was also part of the ceremony, which morphed into Shafer's version of the classic. Though Chapman's friend Wynonna Judd could not be there, her song "Rescue Me" served as the background to a photo and video montage of Chapman's life.
Duane Chapman recalled his wife fondly in an emotional speech that vacillated between tenderness and disbelieving anger that his wife is actually gone. He wept several times in the course of talking, admitting, "I don't even know right now" what he's going to do without her.
"I still haven't let her go," he told the audience. "She'll never be dead to me."
The memorial featured lots of joyful gospel music, including Shafer's rendition of "I Can Only Imagine," and glowing testimonials from family, friends and people whose lives Chapman had impacted. People jammed the cathedral and outside, as well as tuning in to a live stream online.
Duane "Dog" Chapman Reveals Final Minutes With Beth Chapman
Beth Chapman died on June 26 after battling Stage II throat cancer off and on for several years.
A previous public memorial for Chapman took place in Hawaii on June 29, and fans traveled from all over to be present. Duane Chapman also gave a moving speech at that memorial, which was a traditional Hawaiian ceremony. Cameras were on hand to capture both ceremonies. The couple were working on a new show for WGN called Dog's Most Wanted at the time of her death, and her battle with cancer was a central plotline.
In a recent interview, Chapman tells Entertainment Tonight that he has his wife's ashes, and her final wish was for him to scatter a portion and keep a portion so that when he is someday cremated, a part of them could be together forever. But he hasn't been able to bring himself to scatter anything yet.
"I looked at it and I thought, 'I'm not gonna throw you, like, away," he admits. "I just throw you away and start over? I can't do that ... I haven't gotten past the place where I'm still putting a pillow where she was and covering it up ... and then I wake up in the middle of the night and see her, and it doesn't register that ain't her."
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