Hundreds Attend Maurice Gibb's Funeral

During a private funeral service yesterday (Jan. 15) in Miami Beach that mixed humor and emotion, Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb was remembered as a man who celebrated life. About 200 friends and family

During a private funeral service yesterday (Jan. 15) in Miami Beach that mixed humor and emotion, Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb was remembered as a man who celebrated life. About 200 friends and family, including singer Michael Jackson and other celebrities, attended the service for the Bee Gees keyboardist and bass player. Gibb, 53, died suddenly early Sunday.

Though Gibb's family has questioned his medical care -- a county medical examiner is reviewing the case and results of an autopsy are expected Friday -- there was no mention of any allegations of wrongdoing during the service, several mourners said.

Robin Gibb, one of the two surviving Bee Gees, spoke briefly about his love for his twin brother. "It was emotional, there was humor... Everybody talked about how this was a man who really celebrated life and so this was a celebration of his life," said family friend Jennifer Valoppi.

Jackson, a longtime friend of the Bee Gees, and Harry Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band, were among the celebrities who joined Maurice Gibb's wife, Yvonne, his son, Adam, as well as his older brother and Bee Gees partner, Barry Gibb.

Pictures of Maurice and his family hung from the walls, along with the jacket in which he used to play his favorite sport of paintball, Valoppi said. "He'd talk to anybody. He was just a genuine real person. You'd never think that he was as big a star as he was," said James Haddaway.

Nat Kipner, who managed the Bee Gees early in their career in Brisbane, Australia, had traveled by coincidence to South Florida on the same day Maurice Gibb died. "I heard right away that Maurice had died and I couldn't believe it," he said after the service.

Kipner spoke fondly of his memories of the Bee Gees, who recorded some for his Spin Records label as young teenagers. They decided to return to their native England in 1967, and had asked Kipner to come with them, he said. "But I had a business in Australia and I didn't want to go. So I gave them their contract back. One of the dumb things I've done," he joked.

The Bee Gees, short for the Brothers Gibb became falsetto-voiced disco sensations during the 1970s, with a slew of hits from the movie "Saturday Night Fever," including "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever."

A spokesperson for Bee Gees manager Allen Kovac said the family hasn't made a decision on whether to cremate or bury Maurice Gibb's remains.


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