Friends, fans and the community gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church to say goodbye to a legend and a class act: Kaye Ballard. It was a fitting tribute, a simple yet elegant catholic service.
“Kaye Ballard has never been so alive as she is right now, with God as her friend and heaven as her home,” said Monsignor Howard Lincoln to a packed church.
Lincoln says was one of the last people to be at her bedside as he administered the last rites. He shared their last moments together saying she had a big smile on her face, and even made a joke, “And she looked at me and said, ‘I want to take you to New Jersey,'” his words brought laughter.
The celebration of her life focused on the impact she had on the lives of so many, through her work, generosity and friendship.
“In a profession where the ego is most often supreme she thrived in finding genuine happiness in the success of others,” quoted Lincoln.
And those who knew her best and loved her most say those qualities are what truly made her a star.
“I’ve worked in this industry my whole life, and you just don’t encounter people as incredible as Kaye as a person rather than just a celebrity, so anybody that knew her knew what a generous great loving heart she was,” said friend Clark Bason, who says he spent countless hours with her and co produced the documentary film, ‘The Show Goes on …’.
“Seeing the outpouring and today seeing the people that are here and the people that have come out to to celebrate her it really was an extraordinary life and she had an amazing impact and that was one of the things that she cared about was making people happy,” said friend and documentary filmmaker Dan Wingate, who also directed the documentary of her life,’The Show Goes on …’.
“She was an amazing woman, who lived a long, full life, she did everything you could imagine, she everywhere she ever wanted to perform and I just, I couldn’t have loved her more,” said Gino LaMont, a close friend, adding their relationship was at times more like mother and son.
Ballard will live on through her work and good works.
“For Kaye the show does still go on and she will always be in my heart as well,” says Bason.
“We’re going to miss her, we’re going to miss her,” says LaMont.