Over the years, cremation has become an increasingly popular option for individuals deciding what they’d like done after they pass away. While burials were once the standard, cremation is on the rise — over 30% of Americans opted for cremation according to stats recorded in 2006 and the number has grown from there. In some areas of the country the cremation is as high as 70-80%!
Thus, it’s not surprising to see that many celebrities have opted for the cremation route. Here’s a look at a few, both recent and past:
- Albert Einstein – The brilliant physicist, long considered one of the smartest men to have ever lived, chose to be cremated and have his ashes scattered. His brain was kept for scientific study.
- Bea Arthur – A hilarious comedian and TV icon, Bea Arthur was cremated in 2009 after her death from cancer. She’s known best for her work on The Golden Girls.
- Walt Disney – The man who forged the Disney Kingdom and invented Mickey Mouse was not, as many seem to believe, cryogenically frozen. Instead, he was cremated per his wishes.
- Amy Winehouse – A troubled and talented singer, Amy Winehouse was cremated shortly after her drug-related death in 2011.
- Christopher Reeve – The Superman star passed away in 2004. After his cremation, his ashes were scattered by his family in private.
- Alfred Hitchcock – The director who created iconic films like Rear Window and Psycho also chose cremation. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
- John F. Kennedy Jr. – Son to President John F. Kennedy, JFK Jr. was tragically killed in a plane crash. He was cremated and his ashes were spread in the Atlantic along with those of his wife and her sister.
- Richard Pryor – An incendiary stand-up comic and a groundbreaking performer, Richard Pryor was cremated in 2005 after his death. His ashes were given to his family.
- John Lennon – A Beatles member and iconic musician, John Lennon was cremated after his assassination in 1980. His ashes were scattered in New York’s Central Park — the Strawberry Fields memorial sits on the site today.
- Gene Roddenberry – The man who created Star Trek and inspired millions with tales of space travel was cremated following his death. His ashes were sent to space on the Columbia space shuttle mission.
As you can see from these famous cremations, the choice of cremation and final disposition of ashes is strictly personal one.
While some of these famous funerals were attended by thousands, the families were able to privately say their goodbyes and follow the wishes of the departed by scattering or interring the ashes as requested.
In the end, it’s all up to you.