- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bob Hope, who performed for millions of people in his career, was buried yesterday following a private funeral Mass attended by about 100.

“There was a short Scripture reading at the cemetery, then all of us gave one final standing ovation and we left,” said Johnny Grant, the honorary mayor of Hollywood, who accompanied Mr. Hope on countless United Service Organizations tours to entertain U.S. troops overseas.

Details of the funeral were a closely guarded family secret. Daughter Linda Hope joked Monday that her father was recently asked by his wife, Dolores, where he wanted to be buried, and the wisecracking Mr. Hope responded, “Surprise me.”

The 100-year-old comedian, who triumphed in vaudeville, radio, television and films, died Sunday of pneumonia.

After a 6 a.m. Mass celebrated at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, a few blocks west of Mr. Hope’s Toluca Lake estate, a hearse led a procession to the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

Mr. Hope’s casket was temporarily placed in a mausoleum vault. His casket later will be moved to a family grotto, when it is completed, publicist Ward Grant said.

Beside the Hope family, many of his nurses and doctors attended, along with Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers; Bob Gates, the pilot who flew Mr. Hope and his troupe to the Vietnam War zone; Kathryn Crosby, widow of Bing Crosby; and Mr. Grant.

After the funeral, police led a 25-car procession to the cemetery in Mission Hills, a northern San Fernando Valley neighborhood about 12 miles from the Hope estate, police Sgt. Tony Carranza said.

Mrs. Hope’s mother is buried at the cemetery.

The 86-acre cemetery, owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, is next to the historic San Fernando Mission Rey de Espana, founded on Sept. 8, 1797.

Other celebrities buried at the mission cemetery include Ritchie Valens, William Bendix, William Frawley, Walter Brennan, George Gobel, Jerry Colonna and Chuck Connors.

The Hope family plans an Aug. 27 invitation-only Mass and a public memorial at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood.

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