To my knowledge, the first instance of an author killing off a character to prevent further appropriation by untalented hacks was Cervantes' killing of Don Quixote. Via Tengrain, we have the tale of Matt Furie killing off his Pepe the Frog character because it had been hopelessly corrupted by the Anime Nazi crowd. The problem here is that, unlike the knight-errant of La Mancha, Pepe as meme is much bigger than Pepe as character... for the record, Don Quixote is one of my all-time favorite books. Even more significantly, the crowd that co-opted Pepe is not exactly known for their respect for others' feelings, so they will probably carry on to spite Furie, who will be dismissed as a 'cuck' or a 'snowflake'. This isn't so much a funeral, but an uncontested divorce on Furie's part.
Rather than killing Pepe off, Furie should have sold the character off the Disney Corporation, which guards its intellectual property so fiercely that their lobbyists have fought to have copyright laws changed. A couple of lawsuits on the part of a deep-pocketed megacorporation, and the keks become mighty expensive.
The post title comes from one of my favorite Kinks songs:
Come to think of it, Pepe is a lot like the famous Disney rodent, a better example of graphic design than of interesting characterization... maybe Disney could have put his picture in the public bathrooms of their theme parks.