Legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond will be buried at sea in a private ceremony this weekend in Florida.
Bond’s body will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, according to his brother, James Bond.
Julian Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., following a short illness. Bond’s wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, told The New York Times that the cause was complications of vascular disease. He was 75 years old.
His brother said the family has received a tremendous outpouring of support from across the world following his death.
“I’m very sad and it’s overwhelming. And it was so sudden,” Bond said.
Julian Bond, a Morehouse College student who rose to civil rights fame with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and who capped off his life’s work by serving as the longtime chair of the NAACP, did not want an elaborate burial, Bond said.
“His wishes were to have his ashes thrown in the Gulf of Mexico,” Bond said. “We’re abiding by his wishes and we hope other people will understand that we are doing what he wanted us to do.”
Because the service will be closed to the public, the family is asking for others to honor Bond by gathering at a body of water to scatter flower petals at the same time of the ceremony on Saturday. Bond’s service will take place at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time.
“This gesture will mean a great deal to us as a family and also provide some comfort in knowing that you share our loss,” the family wrote in a collective email to supporters shared with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
James Bond said the family is in discussion over holding a memorial celebration for Julian Bond in Washington in September, but no details have been confirmed. An Atlanta service could follow.