When Barbara Walters died on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93, the world took notice. Although she had not had a public presence in some time, the death of the legendary broadcast journalist saddened people around the world.
The decision to have no public funeral for Barbara Walters shortchanged so many who wanted to say goodbye. It also highlighted a continuing break from tradition. In the past, public figures who have died have often had large public funerals, sometimes broadcast on television and attended by world leaders.
A number of years ago, Walters prearranged her funeral with Frank E. Campbell, in Manhattan. The once elite Manhattan funeral home, established in 1898, and now part of Service Corp. Int., has handled the funerals of such luminaries as Celia Cruz, Irving Berlin, Judy Garland, Gov. Mario Cuomo. Mayor Ed Koch, and Aaliyah.
Her wish was that her remains (or cremains) be interred in Lakeside Memorial Park, a cemetery in Doral Florida, along with her parents.
A memorial service seems likely, but it’s unfortunate that there will be no public funeral for Walters. This is a woman who was a pioneer in broadcasting, and who paved the way for so many other women in her field. She deserved to be honored, and it’s a shame that her adoring public won’t be able to say goodbye to her in a traditional way.
*Photo Credit: Lynn Gilbert