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Andy Griffith's memorial book available to Crossroads residents

By ALLISON MILES
July 5, 2012 at 2:05 a.m.
Updated July 6, 2012 at 2:06 a.m.

FILE - This March 6, 1987 file photo shows actor Andy Griffith in Toluca Lake, Calif. Griffith, whose homespun mix of humor and wisdom made "The Andy Griffith Show" an enduring TV favorite, died Tuesday, July 3, 2012. He was 86.

Crossroads residents have a chance to bid a personal farewell to Mayberry's best-known sheriff.

A memorial book is available at Heritage Funeral Home, 8819 U.S. Highway 87 North, for guests to sign personal condolences to actor Andy Griffith's family.

Griffith died Tuesday at age 86.

The book is a way for people to honor Griffith's memory and pay their respects, said Kirk Betz, the funeral home's managing director. Once completed, it will go directly to the actor's family.

Betz said he offered similar memorial books at an Arizona funeral home he managed for racecar driver Dale Earnhardt and those lost in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

"This is a way for people to feel they were a part of his life and the history he had, which was entertaining us," he said.

Already, the funeral home received about 15 calls about the book, he said, and several signatures.

Betz said it was Griffith's character and the moral messages "The Andy Griffith Show" depicted that struck a chord with so many people.

"What got me personally was the bonds of friendship," he said. "No matter how bad those characters messed up, Andy Griffith accepted them and loved them. That's a huge message people my age really appreciate."

The memorial book is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through July 13. For more information, call the funeral home at 361-578-3611.

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