Family and friends gathered in Miami for an intimate funeral on Sunday

By Ana Calderone
April 12, 2015 04:45 PM
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

Family, friends, colleagues and clients of Dr. Fredric Brandt gathered in Miami to celebrate the life of the celebrity dermatologist during an intimate funeral on Sunday morning.

Many of the 200 guests in attendance at Temple Israel spoke of the “talented innovator, leader and artist” they knew in Brandt.

Rabbi Tom Heyn started the service by saying what a “loving soul and a vibrant, health conscious person” he was.

“At the end of the day what set him apart was depth of soul,” continued a colleague from his Miami office Dr. Joely Kaufman. “And his desire to bring happiness to everyone around him.”

Brandt’s April 5 death was ruled a suicide by Miami police, although the medical examiner has yet to confirm that was the cause of death.

He was found hanging in his Coconut Grove, Florida, home by close friend John Joseph Hupert, who was staying at Brandt’s house due to suicidal concerns, according to a Miami Police report.

During the funeral, a close friend of Brandt said of his death, “It was his decision and like all the decisions he took in life there was always a message. His last message was: I’m tired. I want to be with Sparky.”

“The path to suicide is a mysterious one and Fred himself was an enigma,” said his publicist of 21 years Jacquie Trachtenberg.

Although Brandt had been upset about comparisons to a character on Tina Fey‘s Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the show was not the cause of his suicide, says a source.

“The biggest thing they want people to know is that he was a legend in his field,” a rep for Brandt told PEOPLE. “Not only was he a genius ahead of his time in cosmetic dermatology but he was the most genuine, warm and loving person.”

Brandt’s New York friends and clients will get a chance to honor the dermatologist in an invitation-only memorial service in the city on Thursday.

With reporting by BECKY RANDEL

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