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    Family, Friends Honor Life of Jett Travolta

    John Travolta, Jumbolair Aviation Estates Paul Adao/INFphoto.com

    In the end, John Travolta and Kelly Preston wanted to keep their son Jett close to their hearts and home.

    Relatives and close friends gathered Thursday for a private memorial service at the family's Ocala, Fla., estate to say goodbye to the 16-year-old, who died suddenly last week after suffering a seizure.

    James Gandolfini, Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood, Forest Whitaker, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley and retired baseball star Cal Ripken Jr. were among the 100 or so people in attendance, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

    A female minister from the Church of Scientology was the only one who spoke during the hour-long service, which was held in a large tent set up outside the Travoltas' house and began around 4 p.m., a source told the newspaper.

    When the service ended, Preston and Travolta, who had arrived with daughter Ella Bleu after the other guests were seated, kissed a large photograph of Jett that was set up behind the minister's podium.

    Members of the press crowded outside the gates of the Jumbolair Aviation Estates, where residents can pilot their private planes practically up to their front doors, but the proceedings remained closed to outsiders.

    Attendees were screened by black suit-clad security guards before being allowed to approach the Travoltas' house.

    "The family is doing an incredibly good job keeping this private. With all the media here, no one's been able to get much," New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton told the Star-Banner.

    Caterers and florist trucks had been passing in and out of the complex throughout the day, while neighbors and other well-wishers left mementos and flowers outside Jumbolair's main gate.

    Today's service was expected to adhere to the Travolta's Scientologist faith, which a rep for the church said mainly entails a celebration of Jett's life and an acknowledgment of his "right to move on."

    Jett's body was cremated, and his family returned to Florida with his remains on Monday.

    (Originally published Jan. 8, 2008 at 5:28 p.m. PT)

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