STANFORD, California: For a few hours on Tuesday, Silicon Valley stopped rushing headlong into the future.
Dave Goldberg's memorial service had no golden screens, no world-changing dreams or epic lines of code. About 1,700 people, most of whom, in the world's eyes, seem blessed beyond imagining, paused to contemplate fate and mortality. Many wept.
Goldberg died on Friday from head injuries after collapsing on a treadmill at a luxury villa in Mexico, according to the authorities. He was 47 and the chief executive of SurveyMonkey, an online polling service.
His widow is Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook. Goldberg was a star at Yahoo, and Sandberg was at Google before she joined Facebook. Between them, they seemed to know almost everyone among the leaders in entertainment, tech and politics.
"Today we will put the love of my life to rest, but only his body," Sandberg, who had not previously spoken publicly about her husband's death, told those assembled at the Stanford Memorial Auditorium. "His spirit and soul are still with us."
Tributes have poured in for Goldberg. President Barack Obama's office posted on the White House's official Facebook page that Goldberg "embodied the definition of a real leader." The Walt Disney Co. moved the timing of its earnings release so executives could attend the service.
Memorial Auditorium, dedicated in 1937 to Stanford's dead from what was then called the Great War, was full on Tuesday. Many prominent people attended: director George Lucas; John Doerr of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; actor Ben Affleck; and, of course, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.
The singer Bono sang "One," to a simple accompaniment. "It's one need in the night," he said. Above all, "we get to carry each other." He ended in silence.
After the invited guests traded stories of the last time they had seen Goldberg and expressed gratitude for each other's company, the family entered from behind a midnight blue curtain.
Sandberg said the family had received "an outpouring of love" in the days after Goldberg's death. She said she was "grateful for every call, every post, every Facebook message."
"I married my best friend and we had 11 years together," she said, calling Goldberg her "rock." For her, it was an experience of being "deeply understood, truly loved," she added.
Slides traced Goldberg's life, from a childhood in Minnesota to adulthood, unabashed in his plastic Viking helmet and smiling as he introduced his children to the president of the United States. Except for a few baby photos, he was never alone in the pictures.
Speakers, some of whom had known Goldberg when he was a student at Harvard, portrayed a man blessed with the gifts of camaraderie and business acumen.
There was space too for Goldberg's ample humor, his joy in life and his skill at playing cards - half of the eight speakers were from a beloved poker group.
"We went to Vegas almost 35 times," said Phil Deutch, an energy investor. "The real number is 47. One year was on a Mother's Day - in hindsight, that was a mistake."
Every speaker promised to remember Goldberg's loving, solicitous nature and take that to Sandberg, who now has two children to raise alone.
Later on Tuesday, Sandberg posted comments about her husband on Facebook.
At the entrance to the room, two tie racks bore instructions for people to leave behind the neckwear Goldberg hated. And at the exit, mourners could pick up a deck of cards inscribed with Goldberg's initials before emerging into Stanford's midday sun.
"I hope he knew how much he was loved," said Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. "I wish he could feel it."
© 2015, The New York Times News Service