Bill Cosby was one of the speakers at a memorial service for Lewis Katz held on Wednesday. Katz died when the plane he was on crashed during takeoff at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts on Saturday evening. His service was held just a day after a National Transportation Safety Board official said data from the flight recorder showed the plane reached minimum takeoff speed but never lifted off the ground before plunging into a ravine and bursting into flames.
Cosby defied typical dress decorum at the service, donning Temple University sweatpants and a school t-shirt unlike his fellow speakers–including former President Bill Clinton–who wore suits and ties. The comedian was determined to honor his late classmate in the way he saw fit instead. At one point during the service Cosby appeared to almost fall off the stage. He later told those who asked about the near miss that he simply didn’t know where the stairs were, although that sounded kind of strange.
Bill Cosby urged those who mourned Lewis Katz–who was a known philanthropist–to help carry out his legacy of supporting schools and school projects, insisting that one needn’t be wealthy in order to do so.
“You don’t have to have big money. All you have to have is yourself,” he said.
Lewis Katz memorial service June 4, 2014. ( DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer ) pic.twitter.com/S4ghNmZvfG
— Inquirer Photo (@inq_photo) June 4, 2014
It was only a few days before his passing that Lewis Katz acquired the Philadelphia Inquirer. Those at the paper were shocked to hear of his untimely death.
Six other people died in the plane crash along with Lewis Katz. It is likely they were remembered at his memorial, too.
Hopefully having Bill Cosby speak lightened up a somber event. Sometimes laughter can be the very best medicine when dealing with situations that are simply beyond everyone’s control. Remembering better days–such as college days with an old friend–can sometimes help to brighten a very sad occasion.
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