Dog The Bounty Hunter gives wife Beth Chapman a traditional Hawaiian send-off with a paddle out into the ocean
On Saturday, Duane Chapman told mourners that his wife had asked him that she wanted to be memorialized in Hawaii since it was her favorite place on Earth.
Family and friends of Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ and Beth Chapman gathered on a beach in Waikiki on Saturday for a traditional Hawaiian memorial service for Beth. The 51-year-old died on Wednesday after a two-year-long battle with throat cancer.
Mourners observed the memorial on Fort DeRussy Beach and uploaded the images to social media. A paddle out is a ritual often used to honor surfers who died while surfing and has usually been done to remember someone who died while surfing, though the tradition has been adopted internationally.
According to the ritual, mourners gather on a beach and 'paddle out' either on a surfboard or some kind of a floating device. Once they get far enough out into the sea, they form a circle or a line. They might also place a wreath of flowers into the ocean and leave it there.
On Saturday, Duane told mourners that his wife had asked him that she wanted to be memorialized in Hawaii since it was her favorite place on Earth.
Watch a part of the Hawaiian ceremony here.
"She said, 'Please Hawaiian style … please do this right'," the reality television star said. "She loved Hawaii and she loved people. The people mostly she loved."
Mourners also performed the traditional Hawaiian custom 'oli' chant – it has been used in Hawaii to make important announcements including births, deaths, and celebratory occasions. Beth had planned her memorial services before her death last Wednesday. According to TMZ, her struggle with cancer persuaded Beth to come up with ideas for her funeral ahead of time.
She told her family that she wanted the funeral open to the public in both Hawaii and Colorado, the states she lived in with her husband. The family, however, intends to cremate the body and scatter the ashes in a still to-be-disclosed location. While the date and the location are yet to be announced, it is likely to be according to Beth's wishes.
It was in 2017 that cancer in Beth's throat began, and although it was excised, it came back in her lungs by the last year. Last Saturday, she was placed in a medically induced coma.
Following her demise on Wednesday, Duane emerged from his house and spoke to Hawaii News Now about losing Beth. "You kind of try to remember that you’re celebrating life, but right now we’re mourning the death," said the 66-year-old. "For a few years, we knew this day would come. It came really unexpected, really fast. All of her clothes, her make-up, everything. We didn’t prepare."
"When she had an attack I didn’t know anything to do but to say "in Jesus' name" and hold her and when I said "in Jesus' name" she said, "Say it again, say it more," he said, holding back his tears. "And then she, you know, she told the girls and everybody with her mouth and stuff she said I love you guys, are you guys all OK? But she never accepted it."