The reason why Doris Day won't have a funeral or memorial

15 May 2019, 10:36

By Tom Eames

Doris Day won't be having a funeral after her death at the age of 97 this week.

The legendary Hollywood icon, who died on Monday (May 13), made her wishes known in her will, her manager and close friend Bob Bashara confirmed to People.

“No funeral, no memorial and no [grave] marker,” Bashara said.

He also said that Day didn’t “like to talk about” a funeral or memorial: “She didn’t like death, and she couldn’t be with her animals if they had to be put down. She had difficulty accepting death.”

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“I’d say we need to provide for her dogs [after she died], and she’d say, ‘I don’t want to think about it’ and she said, ‘Well, you just take care of them,'” he continued.

“She had several when her will was written, and she wanted to be sure they were taken care of. She didn’t like to talk about the dogs dying.”

Doris Day was a passionate animal lover and welfare advocate, and was brought up Catholic. However, she became a practicing Christian Scientist after marrying producer Martin Melcher.

She “drifted away” from any organized religion after Melcher died in 1968, but remained “a spiritual person.”

“She believed in God, and she thought her voice was God-given,” Bashara said. “She would say, ‘God gave me a voice, and I just used it.'”

Bashara added that he is still unsure why the singer didn't want a funeral, but said: “I think it was because she was a very shy person.”

Doris Day
Picture: Getty

“She never let her celebrity affect her and who she was, and she was always the little girl from Cincinnati who was extraordinarily talented and went out in the world and did what she loved to do despite herself.

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“She was guileless, and I had discussions with her about how popular she was, and she would say, ‘I don’t understand it’ about why she was so loved.”

“She knew her fans loved her from all the letters, and that meant a lot to her."

“The ultimate thing for it is to keep the foundation going,” he added of her Doris Day Animal Foundation, which she created back in 1978.

Friends and fans who want to remember Doris Day, are asked to visit her foundation's website.