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Spock's Prescription for His Memorial Followed

March 21, 1998|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — With a New Orleans-style jazz band blaring and dancing women pumping their parasols to the beat, the hearse of America's baby doctor, Benjamin Spock, rolled down La Jolla's main street in a traffic-stopping procession.

Spock, who is credited with revolutionizing child-rearing for the parents and members of the baby boom generation through his book, "Baby and Child Care," died Sunday at his home in La Jolla. He was 94.

In his 1989 memoir, "Spock on Spock," he included directions for his memorial service, which were followed precisely.

"I dislike intensely the atmosphere of the conventional funeral: the darkened room, the solemn people, silent or whispering or sniffling; the funeral director's assistants pretending to feel mournful.

"My ideal would be the New Orleans black funeral, in which friends snake-dance through the streets to the music of a jazz band."

He got it.

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