Andy Griffith buried shortly after death, source says

Story highlights

  • The body of Andy Griffith was buried Tuesday morning less than five hours after he died
  • At the request of his family, his body was lowered into a grave on the island at about 11:30 a.m.
  • He died at around 7 a.m. ET at his home on Roanoke Island, North Carolina
  • "It had been planned for some time," a funeral spokesperson said

The body of Andy Griffith, a North Carolina native and actor who for years won over audiences with his folksy appeal, was buried Tuesday morning less than five hours after he died.

He passed away at around 7 a.m. ET at his home on Roanoke Island, authorities reported.

At the request of his family, Griffith's body was lowered into a grave on the island at about 11:30 a.m. ET, according to a funeral spokesperson who declined to be named, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

"It had been planned for some time," said the spokesperson, who declined to reveal where on the island the body was buried.

"This was the wish of his family."

Most known for his role as the sheriff of Mayberry on the CBS series "The Andy Griffith Show," Griffith died Tuesday after an unspecified illness and "has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island," the family said in a statement.

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But the speed with which the public learned of his death and was informed of his burial seemed especially fast, according to some observers.

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"It's not very common," said Larry F. Stegall, executive director of the state's Funeral Directors Association. "I don't recall having heard of it, and I've been here 32 years."

Traditional funeral customs often allow for a more extended period between death and burial, so family and friends may have more opportunity to visit and pay their respects.

Still, said Stegall, "the family's wishes are always abided by."

"Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord," Griffith's wife, Cindi, said in a statement on Tuesday.

A member of the Television Hall of Fame, Griffith also was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007. His 1996 album, "I Love to Tell the Story -- 25 Timeless Hymns," netted him a Grammy Award.

Born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, in 1926, Griffith was a 1949 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a degree in music.

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