Duane “Dog” Chapman took the podium to pay his final respects to his late wife, Beth Chapman, at her funeral service in Colorado on Saturday (July 13), with a very emotional eulogy.
The Dog the Bounty Hunter star remembered his late wife as someone who always believed in him and admired him, but was more than formidable enough to stand her own ground. He started off his eulogy by musing that no matter what religion, “we all feel God,” picking up a deeply religious theme that ran through the entire ceremony.
“Bethie! You see this, Bethie?!” he demanded, motioning to the crowd on the verge of tears.
Chapman broke down at several points in his speech, in which he remembered the couple’s first date and how he’d known he wanted to be with her from the very start.
He recalled her as a tough woman who “chewed people out real good — and I’m one of them — because she wanted them to know what happened if you got on the dark side.” But underneath that tough exterior lay a woman who had a soft spot for animals, who would do anything for her family and friends and was a tireless crusader for justice.
“She believed in God very much,” he said, then broke down, crying, “I cannot believe that she’s gone. This is not possible. I wanna wake up from a dream …I have never felt like this.”
Duane “Dog” Chapman Reveals Final Minutes With Beth Chapman
He shared that on her final day, she looked at him and told him to let her go.
“I still haven’t let her go,” he told the assembled mourners. He recalled saying his prayers as a child, speaking softly to his wife as he said, “Bethie, now I lay you down to sleep,” as his voice cracked again.
“She will never be dead to me,” he added. “She is in another place.”
Chapman admits he still feels lost over his wife’s death, and he can’t bring himself to divide up the clothes in her closet, saying that her smell clinging to them reminds him of her.
He said, “I don’t know right now” how he’s going to handle his wife’s passing, saying at one point that he didn’t think God would let him live very long without her.
Beth Chapman died on June 26 after a battle with Stage II throat cancer that lasted for several years. She was first diagnosed in 2017, but she was cancer-free within months. In November of 2018, Chapman disclosed that her cancer was back, and she subsequently decided that she would not undergo more chemotherapy.
Family, friends and fans previously held a public memorial for Chapman in Hawaii on June 29, where her husband also gave a moving tribute to his wife. Cameras were present to capture both services; the couple were filming a new show for WGN called Dog’s Most Wanted at the time of her death, with her cancer battle as a central plotline.
In a recent interview, Chapman tells Entertainment Tonight that he has his wife’s ashes. Her wish was for him to scatter a portion of her ashes and keep a portion of them, so part o them can be together forever after he, too, dies and is cremated. He hasn’t been able to bring himself to scatter any portion of her ashes yet, finding it too painful.
“I looked at it and I thought, ‘I’m not gonna throw you, like, away,” he admits. “I just throw you away and start over? I can’t do that … I haven’t gotten past the place where I’m still putting a pillow where she was and covering it up … and then I wake up in the middle of the night and see her, and it doesn’t register that ain’t her.”
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