Norman Lear's family sang theme songs from his sitcoms in his final moments

The TV legend’s son-in-law recalls singing the themes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” to Lear as he passed peacefully in his home.

Before the late, great Norman Lear moved on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky, his family gave him a proper sendoff by serenading him with the theme songs from some of his beloved sitcoms.

The TV legend who created The Jeffersons, Maude, One Day at a Time, All in the Family, and more classic shows died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles at 101, and was surrounded by his loved ones in his final moments. According to Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Lear’s son-in-law and a chief medical correspondent for CBS News, Lear’s family made sure to give him a “soft landing for the plane.”

“The family was gathered around the bed, he was very comfortable and resting peacefully, and we did what we knew he would want us to do,” LaPook said Thursday on CBS Mornings. “We were singing songs from Les Mis, which he loved, and also some of the songs from his TV shows.”

norman lear's family sang theme songs from his sitcoms in his final moments

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Norman Lear

That included the theme song of All in the Family, and when they got to the theme for The Jeffersons, LaPook was overcome with emotion. “You never know when these moments are going to sneak up on you,” he said. “I kind of held it together, [but] then we were singing ‘movin’ on up to the East Side’ and I heard myself saying ‘to a deluxe apartment in the sky,’ I just lost it. Because he’s going to some deluxe apartment in the sky.”

Of that “soft landing,” LaPook said, “We wanted him to have a gentle landing and have no pain. If you were to say to someone in their 40s, ‘How do you want to die?’ [they would probably say,] ‘At age 101, surrounded by loved ones, with them singing to me and laughing and without any pain,’ and that’s exactly what happened. He had this expression: ‘Over and next.’ When something was over, it’s over, and it’s onto ‘next.'”

LaPook added, “It’s the best definition of living in the moment.”

Lear, an Emmy-winning television creator and producer who changed the landscape of television with his groundbreaking stories, died of natural causes, prompting heartwarming tributes from Hollywood and beyond. Among those who paid tribute in the wake of his death were Rob Reiner, George Clooney, Viola Davis, Rita Moreno, and Tyler Perry.

    Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.

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