The goofy actor with the incredible voice: Friends, family gathe - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The goofy actor with the incredible voice: Friends, family gather to remember Jim Nabors

(Image: File) (Image: File)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It was just as Jim Nabors wanted.

A crowd of about 200 close friends and loved ones gathered Saturday morning to remember the comedic actor and singer.

His husband, Stanley Cadwallader, said Nabors helped plan the memorial service in the months leading up to his death on Nov. 30, detailing who he wanted included and which songs would be performed.

Cadwallader told those who gathered for the memorial service at the Pacific Club in Honolulu that Nabors would be pleased with the gathering. 

Hawaii News Now Sunrise anchor Dan Cooke was the emcee, introducing friends who described Nabors as generous and gracious.

"I never saw that man eat a peaceful meal in public," said Lt. Gen. Earl Hailston.

"There was a constant stream of admirers asking for an autograph, asking for a picture, wanting to share a personal story with him. And he embraced them all, year after year, day after day. I never once saw him turn away even the simplest of admirers."

"He's the best friend anybody could ever have," said Holmes Hendrickson. "If we all treated each other the way Jim did, the world would be a much better place."

Personal physician Dr. Ken Arakawa told the audience that Nabors' health had been failing and in the end, he wanted to die at his Diamond Head home, with the people he loved at his side. 

Arakawa also recalled going to see the Indianapolis 500, as Nabors' guest. For decades, Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the race and took many of his Hawaii friends. Arakawa was born in Indiana. He said his family was very poor and as a child, he could only listen to the race on the radio.  Arakawa said returning as part of Nabors' party brought tears to his eyes.

Nabors was an Alabama native. Born in 1930, he moved to Hollywood in his adult life. He became famous his Gomer Pyle role in "The Andy Griffith Show."

He moved to Hawaii in the 1970s, but continued to act and sing on stages all over the world. 

Cadwallader said his husband closed all his shows the same way, thanking the audience for making his impossible dream come true. 

A video of Nabors singing, "The Impossible Dream," followed.  

Nabors became an honorary U.S. Marine in 2007. The memorial service closed with Sgt. Aaron Carpenter performing, "Taps."

Nabors was 87 years old.

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