'Breaking Bad's' Walter White to Be Remembered at Funeral, Reception
UPDATED: An Albuquerque charity is hosting the event where fans can pay their respects to Heisenberg.
Walter White fans will have a chance to pay their respects to the fictional character, who died at the end of Breaking Bad's final episode.
An Albuquerque charity is hosting a funeral for the man played by Bryan Cranston on the hit AMC series. The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 4:30 p.m. in New Mexico's Sunset Memorial Park. Following a procession starting at the location where White died on the show, where there's a memorial set up, the funeral will include a eulogy delivered by Breaking Bad set decorator Michael Flowers and the burial of a cubic square foot vault, which is typically used in cremations. Afterward, acclaimed restaurant Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse is hosting a reception, starting at 8 p.m.
The funeral and reception were organized by Breaking Bad fan Jackamoe Buzzell, who had the idea after seeing the obituary placed in the Albuquerque Journal last Friday.
Buzzell thought that wasn't enough and White needed a permanent resting place, particularly given the impact the show had on Albuquerque's economy and television and film production industry and its popularity, which spawned a few tours devoted to the show's most famous sites.
Buzzell contacted the cemetery where he had his dog cremated and talked to the owner of Vernon's, where he plays a gangster at the speakeasy-themed restaurant. Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston, a family acquaintance, then suggested that the event raise money for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.
"I think this pays tribute to his memory, and I think he would love this if he could see it from the heavens," Buzzell told The Hollywood Reporter. "One thing someone told me is, 'Hey, it's one gangster taking care of another gangster' in fictional ways."
In order to attend the funeral and reception, you'll need to make a donation to the charity Buzzell set up, Vernon’s Steakhouse Walter White Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation, which benefits Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. All of the money raised by the event goes straight to the endowment fund, which the homeless organization will be able to use at its discretion, including to treat meth addicts.
The organization's work with addicts was a big reason Buzzell thought it would be an appropriate beneficiary. "I wanted [Walter White's] memory to help treat addicts," Buzzell told THR.
Donation amounts that also include admittance to the events range from $20 for entrance to the funeral to $100 for entrance to the funeral reception to $5,000 for a VIP package that includes two tickets to the funeral and the reception, seats in the funeral procession limo and your name or business' name on White's tombstone.
Yes, there will be an actual headstone in the cemetery for White, complete with a black-and-white picture of the chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin and an inscription. Buzzell is hoping to get in touch with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to discuss the language used in the inscription and to agree upon a date for White's death, which could be Sept. 7, 2011, in the show's world or Sept. 29, 2013, when the series finale aired and audiences last saw White.
As of now, the inscription reads: "A beloved husband, father, teacher and entrepreneur," with Buzzell claiming that the last word covers White's Heisenberg persona without including that word.
Buzzell hopes the tombstone will serve as an appropriate final stop for fans touring the show's landmarks.
Even if you can't attend, you can support health care and substance abuse services for Albuquerque's homeless community by donating online and purchasing items like a blue meth-colored silicon bracelet with "Walter White" inscribed on it.
"This is an enormous opportunity for the Albuquerque community to benefit again from the worldwide phenomenon of Breaking Bad. With this event and the creation of the Vernon's Steakhouse Walter White Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Walter White's legacy and final amends will have a positive impact on Albuquerque for many years to come," Vernon's owner Michael Baird said in a statement on the event's website.
Sheriff Houston added: "Walter White has brought awareness to viewers about the problems associated with drug abuse and homelessness. If his death can generate financial donations to combat drug abuse and homelessness in Bernalillo County, then Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless is a well-deserving recipient of those proceeds."
Buzzell hopes he's able to raise more than $100,000 to help treat Albuquerque's drug problem and notes that the funeral home is treating this like a real funeral and the cause they're raising money for is very serious.
More information about the funeral and reception is available at walterwhitefuneral.org.