Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

August 25, 2013

Funeral held for author Elmore Leonard in Michigan

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Leonard was the winner of an honorary National Book Award in 2012, and his millions of fans made best-sellers out of pretty much every one of his books since 1985's "Glitz."

Leonard, who wrote Westerns for years before hitting it big in the crime genre, also was a favorite of Hollywood, which adapted his work into dozens of movies and TV shows, including the films "Out of Sight" and "Get Shorty" and the FX drama "Justified," for which Leonard was an executive producer.

"Raylan," published in 2012, now stands as his final novel. Leonard had been at work on a new book called "Blue Dreams" that again would have featured Raylan Givens, the recurring Stetson-wearing U.S. marshal.

"Justified" star Timothy Olyphant attended the funeral, which he described as "lovely." Olyphant said he was a "huge fan" of Leonard's books and that he "felt very blessed to have known him."

In addition to the program, funeral attendees were handed a small card that listed Leonard's "10 Rules of Writing," which long have been quoted by aspiring — and existing — authors. Among the rules: "Never open a book with weather," ''never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue" and "try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."

A number of speakers Saturday referenced the list during their remarks, including Lupica.

"I'm going to leave out the parts that a dear friend of mine would have expected me to skip," he said before reading a New Testament verse.

Following the service, Leonard, who served as a Navy seaman during World War II, was given military honors, which including the playing of taps and a flag-folding ceremony.

He lived "a great American life," Lupica said.

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