December 15, 2010 01:25 PM

The wife of Bernie Madoff’s son Mark, who hanged himself Saturday, has asked for “decency and understanding” as the family prepares for his memorial.

“Mark has been cremated and there will be a private gathering to honor him later this week at an undisclosed location,” Mark Madoff’s wife, Stephanie, said in a statement Wednesday.

My husband Mark took his own life and regardless of what you feel about my father-in-law and his monstrous crimes, Mark s children are innocent victims and this is tragic for them,” she added. “I am devastated and now raising two small children alone. I ask that you please show decency and understanding toward all of Mark s children and allow us to mourn in private.”

Mark’s father, however, will not be at the service.

Bernie Madoff has already said he’ll mourn his son’s death from the prison in North Carolina where he’s currently serving a 150-year sentence for fraud.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanging from a dog leash in his apartment with 2-year-old son asleep in the next room Saturday, the two-year anniversary of his father’s arrest for history’s largest Ponzi scheme.

Bernie Madoff defrauded clients out of billions of dollars, but Mark Madoff maintained he knew nothing of his father’s wrongdoing.

With the anniversary looming, the Madoff family was under pressure as a court-appointed trustee filed a raft of lawsuits to try to recoup some investors’ money.

Stephanie Madoff also thanked friends and family for reaching out since her husband’s passing.

“I deeply appreciate the expressions of heartfelt sympathy and support I have received over the past several days from so many people who knew and loved Mark,” she said. “I will miss him and love him forever.

With reporting by LIZ MCNEIL

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