LAS VEGAS (AP) – Mourners and fans memorialized singer Robert Goulet with tributes to his music and his humor.

A Friday funeral service included Goulet’s signature song, “If Ever I Would Leave You,” as well as farewell poems Goulet wrote before his death Oct. 30 at age 73.

“There will be sadness and some tears, but shared memories will evoke laughter and that will make me happy,” one poem said. “They should discern a chortle from my urn! My epitaph shall read: ‘He left them smiling.”‘ The big-voiced baritone died in Los Angeles of pulmonary fibrosis while awaiting a lung transplant.

More than half of the 2,500-seat sanctuary of the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer just off the Las Vegas Strip was filled for the afternoon mass, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Saturday.

Goulet was eulogized by his three children. Others who spoke were Goulet’s longtime physician, David Kipper; the Rev. Don Moomaw; longtime friend R.E.G. Sinke Jr.; and Mike Merrick, a veteran show producer who was Goulet’s first Broadway publicist.

Among the celebrities who attended were TV late-show host Jimmy Kimmel and his comedian girlfriend Sarah Silverman; singers Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds and Phyllis McGuire; Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman; and several contemporary Las Vegas headliners, including Bill Acosta, Lance Burton, David Brenner, Danny Gans, Clint Holmes, Rich Little and Frank Marino.

Goulet had connections to Lewiston, Maine. His mother, Jeannette Gauthier, a French Canadian, was born and raised in the city. She married another French Canadian, Joseph Goulet. There only son was born in Lawrence, Mass., in 1933. On his deathbed, Joseph told his 13-year-old son, “God gave you a voice, you must sing.”


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