NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Actor George Lindsey was remembered Friday as the grinning Goober who made television viewers laugh for three decades on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hee Haw."
A public memorial service in Nashville drew an estimated 400 people who paid last respects to Lindsey, 83, who died Sunday.
He was the beanie-wearing Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, "Mayberry RFD," from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character, a mechanic, on "Hee Haw" from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993. Reruns of those shows are still seen on TV.
Griffith did not attend, but sent a statement read by country music broadcaster Keith Bilbrey at the service at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
"George was a better joke teller than me, and I will say here that I `borrowed' jokes from George that he may have `borrowed' from Minnie Pearl," Griffith confessed. "George told me his fondest memories in show business were the years he spent working on `The Andy Griffith Show' and `Mayberry RFD.' They were for me, too."
Singer Ray Stevens performed "Everything Is Beautiful" during the service.
"He warmed a lot of hearts with his brand of humor -- wholesome, American humor," Stevens said before the service.
Lindsey is to be buried in Jasper, Ala., in his native state. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1992 by the University of North Alabama, and did much charity work for the state.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)