updated 9/7/2006 9:32:17 AM ET 2006-09-07T13:32:17

The family of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin has decided on a private funeral to be held within a week, and a public memorial service will be held within two weeks, with thousands expected.

The 44-year-old Irwin was killed Monday by a stingray while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef.

In a short statement Thursday, Irwin’s father, Bob, said the family and “closest friends” would attend the private service, confirming that the “generous government offer” of a state funeral had been turned down.

No details were given on the possible location for a public memorial to the boisterous TV star, although the Irwin family’s 60-acre Australia Zoo and a 52,000-seat sports stadium in the nearby state capital of Brisbane have been mentioned.

The elder Irwin said his son would not have wanted a formal state funeral because “he’s an ordinary guy, and he wants to be remembered as an ordinary bloke.”

Prime Minister John Howard had said a state funeral would be appropriate for Irwin because he was so well-loved and because of his services to Australia as an unofficial tourism ambassador.

Since his death, several hundred thousand dollars in online donations from the United States alone have poured in to one of Irwin’s wildlife charities. But the head of one of Irwin’s conservation groups, Wildlife Warriors, said he is worried what will happen to the charitable organization after the interest surrounding Irwin’s death recedes.

“But it’s not just about the dollars,” Wildlife Warriors head Michael Hornby told The Associated Press. “They represent the number of people who are now getting involved. That was a big thing for Steve. He wanted to get the ordinary person, everyday people, involved ... it is coming to fruition.”

Even with the donations pouring in, Hornby admitted he wasn’t sure how the group would cope following Irwin’s death.

“I have to say Wildlife Warriors has never had this much exposure (as) ... through this incident. I think it probably is a groundswell now. The challenge for us is to keep the momentum going,” he said.

Mourners have left flowers, flags, candles, cartoons drawn by children at Australia Zoo, the reptile theme park that Bob Irwin started in 1970 and his son built into an international tourist attraction. In lieu of a condolence book, many well-wishers have signed their names on dozens of khaki shirts, one of Steve Irwin’s trademarks.

Image: Bob Irwin.
Steve Holland / AP
Bob Irwin, father of Australian international media personality and environmentalist Steve Irwin, talks at a press conference outside Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Australia, on Wednesday.

Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s American-born wife, and two children, Bindi, 8, and Bob, 2, remained secluded at their home near the zoo.

After security officials roped off the area, Bob Irwin and other members of his family took a brief, private tour of the makeshift memorial on Thursday, reading notes from well-wishers, who continued to come to the site.

Terri Irwin has not commented since her husband’s death. Her mother, Julia Raines of Eugene, Ore., told the television newsmagazine show “Inside Edition” that Terri said she might have trouble coming to grips with being a single parent.

“Terri says it’s going to be hard being the only parent because you depend on the other person more than you realize, and she’s having a hard time with that,” said Raines. “She told me, ’I’m very concerned about raising the children by myself,’ but I know she’ll do well.”

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