Jerry Garcia - Death

Death

On August 9, 1995, at 4:23 am, eight days after his 53rd birthday, Garcia was found dead in his room at the rehabilitation clinic. The cause of death was a heart attack. Garcia had long struggled with drug addiction, weight problems, sleep apnea, a long standing cigarette habit and diabetes; all of which contributed to his physical decline. Phil Lesh remarked in his autobiography that, upon hearing of Garcia's death, "I was struck numb; I had lost my oldest surviving friend, my brother." On the morning of August 10, Garcia was rested at a funeral home in San Rafael, California. Garcia's funeral was held on August 12, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Belvedere. It was attended by his family, the remaining Grateful Dead members and their friends, including former basketball player Bill Walton and musician Bob Dylan, and his widow Deborah Koons, who barred Garcia's other wives from the ceremony.

On August 13, a municipally-sanctioned public memorial took place in the Polo Fields of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and was attended by about 25,000 people. The crowds produced hundreds of flowers, gifts, images, and even a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace" in remembrance.

On April 4, 1996, Bob Weir and Deborah Koons spread half of Garcia's cremated ashes into the Ganges River at the holy city of Rishikesh, India, a site sacred to Hindus. Then, according to Garcia's last wishes, the other half of his ashes were poured into the San Francisco Bay. Deborah Koons did not allow one of Garcia's ex-wives, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, to attend the spreading of the ashes.

Read more about this topic:  Jerry Garcia

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