Author Elmore Leonard’s funeral was held in Burmingham Michigan on Saturday August 24, 2013. Over 300 people gathered at the Holy Name Catholic Church to say their farewells to Leonard.
Reverend Joe Grimaldi gave the eulogy. Leonard’s sons Peter, Bill and Christopher also spoke. Son Peter recalled how his father always got stopped at airport check points for trying to carry on various items, from scissors and shampoo to an excessive amount of athletes foot powder.
“His favorite letters were from convicts” Peter Leonard said eliciting laughter.
His son Bill told the crowd that everyone knew that Elmore was a great writer but only a few people knew that he was a great father, funny, patient and incredibly generous.
Leonard wrote westerns for years before he began to write crime novels. His work has been adapted into dozens of movies and tv shows including the FX drama Justified.
“Raylan”, published in 2012, stands as Leonard’s final novel. He was at work on a new novel at the time of his death entitled “Blue Dreams”. That novel would again have featured Raylan Givens, Justified’s U.S. Marshal.
Justified star Timothy Olyphant attended the funeral. He described the funeral as “lovely”. Olyphant stated he was a huge fan of Leonard’s books and that he felt very blessed to have known him.
Following the service Leonard, who served as a navy seaman during World War II, was given military honors. This included taps being played and a flag folding ceremony.
His friend Mike Lupica, a sportswriter, declared “He lived a great American life”.