Family and friends gather at a private funeral for Gordon Lightfoot in Orillia, Ontario.

Close friends and family of Gordon Lightfoot gathered Monday for a small, private funeral held in Orillia, Ontario. church where he was once a choirboy.

A group of about 50 people gathered at St. Paul’s United Church for the nearly two-hour ceremony, which included a choral performance accompanied by an organ.

Under the virtually cloudless sunny skies, the local community went about the day like any other, with some doing gardening and a few curious onlookers wandering by the church to watch the goings on.

A neighbor set up a deckchair in front of his house to see if Canadian rock royalty like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young would pull up.

Family members carry the coffin of singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot after a funeral service at St. Paul’s United Church in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario, Monday May 8, 2023. The legendary Canadian artist died May 1 of natural causes at the age of 84 .


However, they didn’t appear to be. Most of the visible mourners appeared to be Lightfoot’s extended family, bandmates and others who have worked with him over the years.

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After the ceremony was over, Lightfoot’s coffin was loaded into a hearse and left the church grounds as a small crowd gathered to watch the proceedings from across the street.

Lightfoot is to be buried next to his parents in St Andrew’s and St James’ Cemetery.

A public visitation was held at St. Paul’s United Church on Sunday, which security forces estimated drew more than 2,400 people for the event.

Elsewhere, a book of condolences could also be signed at Toronto’s Massey Hall, a venue where Lightfoot has performed frequently throughout his career.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press


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