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Beloved Entertainer Hope Laid to Rest

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Bob Hope was quietly laid to rest on Wednesday at the San Fernando Mission cemetery in suburban Los Angeles, following a dawn mass in the chapel of St. Charles Borromeo church attended by about 100 people consisting of immediate family members and close friends, according to news reports.

Earlier in the week, President Bush ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff on the day of Hope’s funeral. The mass was held at Hope’s wife’s church, near their seven-acre estate in Toluca Lake, Calif., and was held at the early hour apparently to prevent it from being overwhelmed by fans.

Speaking to CNN’s Larry King Tuesday night, Hope’s daughter, Linda Hope, 64, said the family was being flooded by messages of condolence, and she warded off King’s questions about the time and place of the services.

Hope died peacefully Sunday night in his own bedroom, surrounded by his family. His wife, four children and four grandchildren survive him.

The Spanish mission-style St. Charles Borromeo, near Universal Studios, will be the site of a larger memorial service for invited friends and professional associates of Hope on Aug. 27. Earlier this week, the church had signs posted on all its doors, saying, “Closed due to maintenance. Thank you,” New York’s Daily News reported.

Dolores Hope, who was married to the comedian for 69 years, is a devout Catholic, and Bob was reportedly converted later in life. Although born in England and considered Presbyterian, Hope never really professed a religion, though two months ago at the time of his 100th birthday, Linda Hope told reporters that her father’s religion was “comedy.”