A difficult time. Family, friends and fans of Beth Chapman paid their respects to the late reality star on Saturday, July 13, in a public memorial service in Aurora, Colorado.
The emotional, two-hour public event took place at the Heritage Christian Center. Her husband, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman sat on stage with his signature sunglasses while friends and family members spoke about the TV personality. Speakers included friend Shannon Tweed (Gene Simmons‘ wife), sons Garry Chapman and Dakota Chapman and daughter Bonnie Chapman.
“No one will ever be a bounty hunter in heels like she was,” Bonnie said of her mother. “No one will be as great of a mom as she was.”
Dog gave a long speech towards the end of the two-hour service, almost breaking down as he said, “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
“She was so gorgeous,” he told the crowd. “People would say that and she wouldn’t never believe it, but I told her all the time she is gorgeous, she was so pretty.”
He later introduced his pastor, who officiated the pair’s wedding in 2006, explaining that when it came time to settle on the vows, Beth made him take out the “till death do us part” section “because you’re not off the hook!”
The Dog the Bounty Hunter star died at the age of 51 on June 26 after battling cancer.
Her husband, Dog, announced the news of her death in a Twitter post. “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” he wrote at the time. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
The reality star was first diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in September 2017, and while she declared she was cancer-free two months later, the disease returned the following year. In November 2018, doctors found that the cancer had spread to her lungs after she underwent emergency surgery.
A press release announced the specifics of the public memorial service earlier this week: “Attendees are encouraged to dress comfortably,” it stated on Wednesday, July 10. “Since this is a public event and safety and security is a top priority, please be aware that there will be an enhanced police presence to ensure safety of all attendees and bags will be subject to search.”
A smaller memorial service took place for Beth at Fort DeRussy Beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, in June, and included Hawaiian chants and prayers before the family took to the water in an outrigger canoe and spread some of her ashes along with flowers.
Days before the Colorado service, the former bail bondsman broke down in tears while opening up about his current emotional state.
“[With any] new experience that you have, you don’t know how you’re doing because you’ve never experienced it,” he told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, July 10. “I have a lot of people who depend on me. All my supervisors said, ‘Dog, it’s time to man up.’ So I’m trying to man up.”
Scroll down for more from Beth’s memorial service.