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Andy Griffith laid to rest on 'beloved farm' hours after his death

July 03, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Andy Griffith after the 2003 unveiling in Raleigh, N.C., of a statue of Andy and Opie from "The Andy Griffith Show."
Andy Griffith after the 2003 unveiling in Raleigh, N.C., of a statue of Andy… (Bob Jordan / Associated…)

Andy Griffith, who died in his sleep Tuesday at age 86, was buried on his North Carolina farm mere hours after his early morning death.

Cindi Griffith, the actor's wife since 1983, was at his side when he died, the family told the Charlotte Observer.

"He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend," she said in a statement to the paper. "I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God."

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The prompt, intimate service and interment "had been planned for some time," a funeral spokesman told CNN. Griffith, who died about 7a.m., local time, on the Outer Banks' Roanoke Island, was buried by 11:30 a.m., a Twiford Funeral Homes representative told TMZ.

"He has been laid to rest on his beloved farm on Roanoke Island," the funeral home's website said Tuesday.

North Carolina law does not require embalming before burial.

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Ron Howard, whose youthful Opie character is unforgettably linked to Griffith's Sheriff Andy in "The Andy Griffith Show," used Twitter early on Tuesday to express his condolences, noting that his friend's "pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life. I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."

Howard responded to his Twitter followers later in the day as well, saying, "Thanks to all for your kind words in the wake of Andy's passing.

"As he would say at the end of a show 'I appreciate it and good night.'"

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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