Naya Rivera's Family Holds Private Funeral After Her Tragic Passing, Fans Also Mourn

Promo Pic of Naya Rivera in Glee

It’s been a few weeks since we first learned that Naya Rivera had disappeared into the waters at Lake Piru, yet it feels like only a short time ago that the world lost the Glee actress. Following the retrieval of her body and ultimately an autopsy undergone by the Coroner’s Office, Rivera was finally able to be laid to rest with a small number of friends and family present for the event.

Naya Rivera was buried in the famous Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on July 24, 2020. Gatherings, including funerals and more have had to be reevaluated in the middle of the pandemic. Reportedly, Rivera’s funeral was small, with only 25 or so people attending the event. Close friends and family members made up the funeral party, though some of Rivera’s former coworkers have been supportive in other ways. According to CBS, fans also mourned at their own vigil near Lake Piru on Saturday of this week, coming from as far as Oregon and Indiana to mourn.

Rivera’s sister Nickayla also shared a touching tribute around the time of Naya’s funeral, noting that her sister was her rock and that she will be missed immensely and immeasurably.

My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.

Per ET, the funeral was private and came after Naya Rivera’s autopsy was released. That report indicated that Rivera’s cause of death was drowning, and it confirmed a few more details related to her passing. Rivera died within a manner of minutes in the lake, with the Sheriff’s office speculating she may have drowned after using her last energy reserves to boost her young son back into the boat.

Naya Rivera initially went missing during a day of boating with her son Josey during a trip to Lake Piru in Ventura County on July 8. The Los Angeles County and Ventura County PD later teamed up in order to recover the Glee actress’ body and she was ultimately found on July 13—the same day seven years earlier her co-star Cory Monteith had been found dead following an overdose.

Her Glee friends and co-workers came out to support the actress both at Lake Piru where her body was found and in touching messages on social media. Glee producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan went a step further and set up a college fund for Rivera’s son Josey, who is four at the time of this writing.

Naya Rivera was only 33 years of age at the time of her death. She leaves behind countless family members, including her mother Yolanda, who was active with her son Josey and in her life, as well as siblings and many more. Her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, whom she shares Josey with, also shared a kind tribute following her death. All in all, Rivera affected countless lives and was taken from the world too soon. She will be missed.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.