Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane "Dog" Chapman wished his fans a happy Fourth of July in a very simple way Saturday. Chapman shared an illustration of the American flag with fireworks going off behind it, along with "Happy Fourth of July." The reality TV star's legions of fans had other reasons to celebrate this weekend, as WGN America also ran a marathon of Dog's Most Wanted, just over a year after Beth Chapman's death, on Saturday.
Independence Day came just over a week after Chapman and his family marked the first anniversary of Beth's death. She died on June 25, 2019, at age 51, following a battle with lung and throat cancers. While Beth's daughter Cecily Chapman organized a memorial in Hawaii, Chapman put together a small private ceremony near the South Platte River in Colorado. He picked a spot where Beth would go every Father's Day. He filled one of Beth's floats with flowers and a photo of his late wife, which he then sent down the river.
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Chapman also brought along Francie Frane, his new fiance. The two started dating earlier this year and got engaged in May. Chapman and Beth's daughter Bonnie and his granddaughter Abbie also attended the ceremony. "In a lot of religions and a lot of beliefs, they mark it as a tradition on the one year date that someone has passed away," Chapman told The Sun, which published photos and video from the ceremony. "So sticking with tradition we are having this memorial for Beth Chapman."
Frane has played an important role in helping Chapman through the past year since Beth's passing. The two connected over their shared loss of a spouse. After they met, Frane revealed her husband Bob died from cancer a few months before Beth. In a recent interview with minister Patricia King, Chapman said the two were "bawling" over the phone when she told him.
Chapman was criticized for getting engaged to Frane so soon after Beth's death, but he told fans Beth would approve of him wanting a partner to share his life with. He also said he knows there can never be another Mrs. Dog. "You'll never forget the spouse," he told PEOPLE in May. "You can't help it. I will never forget. But I've got to get out there. I've got to be able to say, 'I came out of this and you can, too.' As a human being, I don't think you look for — not a replacement, because you can never find one. I'm learning that right now."