Ronnie James Dio Honored At Memorial Service
Ronnie James Dio was honored at a public memorial service in Los Angeles on Sunday - family, friends and fans all turned out to pay their last respects to the late rocker.
More than 1,200 devotees attended the event, held at the Hall Of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, and the service featured performances from former Black Sabbath star Glenn Hughes, Anthrax's Joey Belladonna and the star's Dio bandmates Claude Schnell and Scott Warren.
Fans were able to watch the service on TV monitors outside the building, while inside, Dio's relatives and close friends paid tribute to the music legend, who lost his battle with stomach cancer on May 16 at the age of 67.
Dio's cousin and ELF bandmate David 'Rock' Feinstein, told the gathering, "He touched all of us with his music and his message and his magic. I know that Ronnie truly loved all of you. He had a great appreciation for your loyalty. I'm talking about all you out there, all the fans."
Dio's son Dan Padavona also urged the crowd to have regular medical check-ups to prevent similar tragedies: "I beg you not to make the same mistake my dad made. For dad, the show always had to go on. He ignored the warning signs for years, and all along the cancer was growing and mutating from something that was probably easily defeatable into a monster which even Dio couldn't slay."
Dio's widow, Wendy, recently urged fans to ignore a protest by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who planned to demonstrate at the star's funeral. The protesters were reportedly kept out of the Forest Lawn site and away from the memorial service.
A source tells Blabbermouth.net, "Protesters were cordoned off outside of Forest Lawn grounds proper and were small in number with an at least equal number of counter-protesters. All seemed orderly despite the usual idiocy from the WBC folks."