Hawking’s generous final gift
PROFESSOR Stephen Hawking paid for 40 homeless people to enjoy an Easter feast as a final gift from the grave.
FoodCycle Cambridge tweeted out saying that they were "so grateful" for the "generous donation so we could give our guests an extra special Easter meal yesterday".
They added: "We had a little cheer in honour of Stephen Hawking before tucking in."
The donation came after wellwishers lined the streets and applause broke out as the renowned physicist's coffin was carried into the church over the weekend as his funeral took place at the University Church of St Mary the Great in Cambridge, reports The Sun.
Alex Collis, East of England Regional Manager for the charity, added: "Lucy Hawking contacted me and mentioned that the family would like to make a donation so that while the funeral was taking place people would be sitting down to a hot meal 'on Stephen'.
"It was a really kind gesture that I think fitted well with the sympathy Prof Hawking felt for people who were having a tough time of things."
Actor Eddie Redmayne, model and Cambridge University graduate Lily Cole, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May and comedian Dara O Briain, who made a documentary about Prof Hawking, were among those seen arriving to the funeral.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and playwright Alan Bennett had also been on the guest list.
The church bell tolled 76 times, once for each year of Professor Hawking's life, as the solid oak coffin adorned with floral tributes arrived in a hearse.
Family members of the cosmologist, including his three children a Lucy, Robert and Tim, followed the coffin into the church.
In a statement released ahead of Saturday's service they said they chose to hold the funeral "in the city that he loved so much and which loved him".
Robert Hawking, who is Prof Hawking's eldest child, delivered a eulogy at the service.
Prof Hawking died peacefully at his Cambridge home on March 14 at the age of 76.
The cosmologist had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his 20s.
The church where Saturday's private funeral service was held is near to Gonville and Caius College.
The funeral was followed by a private reception at Trinity College.
Professor Hawking's ashes will be interred close to the remains of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey on June 15.
This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.