ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- In the midst of the ever-growing COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when "social distancing" has become a way of life, the family of the late Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery held a private family burial Saturday at historic Westview Cemetery.

Lowery, known best as the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement" for his immense impact, was laid to rest beside his wife and fellow activist in the movement, Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, who passed in 2013.

It happened that his burial service occurred on the 52nd anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, a close friend and colleague.

The ceremony of this beloved and iconic figure came at a most trying time due to the statewide shelter-in-place order that went into effect on April 3, meaning that only 10 family members were able to be in attendance. All guidelines from Fulton County Public Health Officials were closely adhered to.

Cheryl Lowery, Rev. Dr. Lowery's youngest daughter and President and CEO of the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute, said, "after much thought and consideration of options that would be compliant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and social distancing, we were unable to hold a service that could accommodate our dear community of support. Our father always encouraged everyone to act in service for the common good."

The burial service was officiated by Cascade United Methodist Church's Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Keven Murriel. Rev. Dr. Lowery pastored at Cascade United Methodist from 1986 until he retired in 1992.

A public memorial is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, the day of what would have been Rev. Dr. Lowery's 99th birthday.

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