HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The love for Little Richard didn’t stop with his bandmates. Close family friends said he laid plans for this day well in advance. Little Richard knew long before leaving this Earth who would bring closure to his family and friends.
The iconic rock and roll singer deeply cared about people and his faith. And for at least forty years, Little Richard knew that one man, in particular, would have the honor of laying him to rest.
Wednesday, one armor bearer carried the weight of his beloved friend to the grave.
“It was back in 1976, or 77, when my brother passed away in Los Angles. He actually came to the service thinking it was me, but it was my brother and he told me then at that time that he would like for me to do his service if anything happened with him,” Oakwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery Director Gerald Kibble
Kibble did what any friend would do. “His wishes have happened,” said Kibble. “I’m here doing his service as we talked about years ago.”
But Little Richard had a heart bigger than his music. His friends say, the public didn’t know this side of him.
“I remember a few years ago when my daughter passed, he was responsible for getting and taking care of her casket, having her name put on the casket,” said family friend Mittie Dawson.
“They just know the popular, the singing, the rock and roll, but he had a great huge heart,” said another family friend (and Gerald’s sister) Ruthie Kibble.
Little did know Ruthie know, that Richard foretold the arrangement of his own funeral four decades ago.
“Gerald and Little Richard has been friends a long, long time ever since we were little kids,” said Ruthie.
As family and friends talked about Richard Penniman’s service to the world, the day was about closure for everyone who knew the iconic singer, brought by a close friend.
Little Richard’s legacy will forever rest in our hearts, and on records, radios, and playlists around the world.