Naya Rivera’s life was celebrated in a private funeral at Los Angeles’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park earlier this week. About 25 close family and friends, including her former Glee castmates attended the service, Entertainment Tonight reports.
On July 8, the actress took a boat ride on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California with her 4-year-old son Josey in tow. Staff found the rental boat hours later with Josey, wearing his life jacket, fast asleep on the boat, along with an adult life jacket.
Five days after Rivera was reported missing, authorities confirmed that she had died in a tragic accident. During a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub speculated that the 33-year-old actress drowned after boosting him onto the unanchored boat after swimming in the lake.
The death certificate confirmed that the cause of death was a “drowning” and noted that the singer died in a “matter of minutes.” The autopsy didn’t note any diseases or traumatic injuries.
Following Rivera’s death, friends and fans and co-stars expressed their sympathy via social media. The Glee creators spoke highly of the star, saying she was more than just an actor on the show, “she was our friend.” They also praised her ability to learn and recall her lines on the spot. But the kindest gesture was their pledge to establish a college fund for young Josey.
Former Glee castmate and friend Amber Riley posted a tribute on Instagram with pictures of the two singing together. “I’m so mad the world will never see how high you could have soared. Her brain was brilliant. She was smart and as quick as a whip. Always had me in stitches, we would be in tears laughing so hard at one another,” she wrote in a caption.
Riley also shared her favorite “Naya Moment” while on a tour bus to London.
“Naya [was] greasing her scalp with Doo Gro oil, a plastic cap and a silk bonnet. My sister said, ‘Oh, Naya you blackity black black.’ We burst out into laughter! We needed it too because we just wanted to get home to our families.”
Riley vowed to hold Rivera in her heart say her name every day.
Rest in peace!