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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- George Beverly Shea, the Canadian-born bass-baritone who warmed up the crowds at Billy Graham s crusades for six decades, was laid to rest on Monday.

Shea was buried Monday on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. The library was closed Monday for the private ceremony where several friends and family attended the funeral.

Shea, a key part of the Graham ministry, died last Tuesday night at Asheville's Mission Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was 104.

When Graham first met Shea in the 1940s, it was Shea who was better known. The young evangelist traveled to Chicago to ask Shea to appear with him on a new radio program, Songs in the Night.

A few years later, Graham invited Shea to sing at his crusades.

Though Graham didn t speak Sunday he s frail these days, and can t see or hear well the evangelist did release a statement last week about his longtime friend.

I ve been listening to Bev Shea sing for more than 70 years, and I would still rather hear him sing than anyone else I know, Graham said. Bev was one of the most humble and greatest Christians I have ever known.

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