The late great Verne Langdon's memorial service: 01/25/2011
The cover of Verne's memorial booklet
The intimate service began with Verne's varied musical pieces played through the sound system at the little chapel at Pierce Brother's Valhalla in Burbank, CA. Calliope, piano, organ, lounge, haunting, funny. As disparate as Verne's talents. Many familiar faces filed into the pews. After a brief prayer, Dawn Langdon Karrash (Verne's ex-wife and best friend) read an amazing eulogy that touched on the many facets of Verne. It was as touching and funny as the very spirit of Verne himself.
Special people of importance in Verne's life
Verne's silver urn was displayed before a gigantic white wreath next to the dais. Dawn's daughter, Verne's niece, made a very personal and poetic speech about Verne losing his father in a commuter plane crash when he was young. She recalled some of the same premonitions the day Verne left us. Uncle Jim Warren was remembered in the honorary pallbearer's list, although he and some other's on that list were not able to attend in person.
Verne would have loved it. Tears. Laughs. Cheers.
The service was short and sweet but so very rich in legacy and emotion. Dawn did an amazing job of making all of us understand just how much Verne loved us. Once Aaron Shaw's bagpipe had sweetly blared Amazing Grace, the crowd disbursed and all were invited to give further tribute at the Magic Castle. It was great to be there with friends Casey and Rhonda Wong, Dan Roebuck and Eliot Brodsky who'd flown in from the East for the occasion.
Big or small, all of us die only once. When a special person like Verne Langdon leaves us: artist, wrestler, clown, musician, writer, magician, bon vivant, orator and friend - we get one chance to memorialize him. This modest, eloquent service was perfect. At the end of it, the audience spontaneously applauded. Unconventional for a funeral, but absolutely appropriate for Verne Langdon's funeral. He would have insisted on it!