In a previous article, we mentioned five noteworthy people who left express instructions to be followed upon their passing, for a burial at sea ceremony. As things turn out, there are quite a number of other famous people who’ve done the same thing.
Some had their remains cremated before having their ashes released into the oceans. While this practice departs from the “traditional” burial, the occasion is no less solemn.
Here’s a rundown of five more famous people whose chose to have their remains scattered in the oceans.
Many people would remember beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, whose fame spread far and wide on the TV show Mork & Mindy. Good Morning Vietnam launched his film career in earnest. Pretty much all of his performances showed his prowess in comedy and then in drama.
Williams was also known to have supported causes involving kids, such as fulfilling a dying girl’s wish under the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Robin Williams died on August 11, 2014, after a prolonged battle with dementia, according to his wife Susan Schneider. Williams’ remains were cremated and then scattered upon San Francisco Bay the day after his death.
No relation to the famous actor and comedian, Esther Williams started out as a competitive swimmer before becoming an actress and then a successful businesswoman. Williams’ movies, according to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, “inspired many youngsters to study water ballet and popularized synchronized swimming”. She also launched her own successful line of swimwear and lent her name to just about anything that involved swimming.
Esther Williams died in her sleep on June 6, 2013 at age 91, then was cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean－where she first learned to swim.
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
The only surviving son and namesake of the former U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, Jr. was well-known in society circles. Practically, society followed JFK Jr. owing to his circumstances and his being a member of the Kennedy family.
John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette and sister-in-law Lauren died after the plane that he piloted crashed en route to Massachusetts. Their remains were cremated and scattered at sea off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, where they would’ve arrived to attend his cousin’s wedding.
Sir Edmund Hillary
With the help of locals, New Zealand beekeeper and explorer Edmund Hillary and his guide Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He earned knighthood for this accomplishment and a spot in TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the 20th century. Afterwards, he founded the Himalayan Trust that has since been helping many people in Nepal.
Sir Edmund Hillary died of heart failure on January 11, 2008. After a state funeral on January 22, 2008, his body was cremated and his ashes scattered at Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.
Emmy-award winning actor Alan Young rose to fame in the popular 1960s sitcom Mister Ed and co-starred in the classic sci-fi movie The Time Machine, and in its remake decades later. He was also an in-demand voice actor, having performed as Disney’s grumpy character Scrooge McDuck and in numerous animated shows including The Smurfs and Scooby Doo.
Alan Young was buried at sea－after his death last May 2016 at age 96 due to natural causes.
It’s entirely possible that more renowned names as well as the average person will choose to have a burial at sea ceremony over a traditional burial, especially if, at some point, the sea played a meaningful role in their lives.
If you’d like to explore the idea of having a burial at sea for yourself or for a loved one who may have an affinity for the oceans, consider a San Juan Sail charter to provide an affordable yet memorable charter for you and your relatives and guests.
Robin Williams Once Secretly Fulfilled A Dying Girl’s Wish, huffingtonpost.com
Actor Alan Young, human star of horse sitcom ‘Mister Ed,’ dies at 96, reuters.com