Chuck Berry

Posted in Bellerive Gardens with tags , , , on August 22, 2017 by Cade

October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

Marvin Berry’s famous cousin invented Rock ‘n’ Roll. I could just stop there. But, where’s the fun in that?

Charles Edward Anderson Berry was a guitarist and singer who spent the 1950’s taking bits and pieces of the rhythm and blues style of music and turning the world on its head. As he pioneered new ways to use guitar and uptempo rhythms in popular music, he paved the way for others to follow. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis, Hendrix…you name it. If they were a giant in the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll music, Berry influenced them directly.

From rough beginnings in St. Louis, MO, Berry loved music from the start. In his 20’s, he played regularly in local clubs where he mixed (the very popular with white audiences at the time) country music with more Blues inspirations. His popularity brought him to Chicago and Chess Records. His first recording with Chess was called “Maybellene.” It sold over 1 million copies. Chart busters like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnnie B. Goode” followed and launched Berry and this new style of music into history. Popular music would never sound the same.

Of course, that wasn’t the end for Berry. He continued to be influential for decades. He wrote more classics. He toured well into the 21st Century and maintained a residency at his club, Blueberry Hill, in St. Louis until his late 80’s. He died in his home at the age of 90 and was buried with his trademark Gibson guitar.

Burial

Bellerive Gardens – Creve Coeur, MO

Specific Location

In the mausoleum at the back of the cemetery; enter the main doors and walk straight back through the main chapel section, past a hallway and into a smaller section of crypts, Chuck is interred on your left in the second row up.

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Abraham Lincoln

Posted in Oak Ridge Cemetery with tags on August 15, 2017 by Cade

February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. Arguably, one of the most famous presidents in U.S. history, Lincoln guided the country through its bloody civil war. A largely self-educated lawyer who grew up in Kentucky and Indiana, he went on to represent Illinois in the United States congress. After a return to private law practice, and amidst a rising tension between Southern, slave-owning states and the North, Lincoln was persuaded to run for President as a moderate in the newly founded Republican party. Despite receiving virtually no votes from the Southern states, Lincoln won the election in 1860. His victory led the first states in the South to begin working toward secession and the war followed quickly. Lincoln navigated the war with admirable skill and prowess. In 1862, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which effectively freed the slaves in the Southern states. In 1864, he was reelected while the war raged on and began to work toward what post-war Reconstruction would look like. On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant. Four days later, Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. by Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth. Abraham Lincoln died the next day, leaving behind an enormous footprint on the nation as it moved forward from its darkest hour.

Lincoln has been immortalized on statues, on money, in history and in pop-culture. Illinois’ favorite son remains, perhaps, one of the biggest American icons of all time.

Burial

Oak Ridge Cemetery – Springfield, IL

Specific Location

Enter the cemetery…follow the signs. President Lincoln is buried behind the large marker inside the even larger monument. Walk in the front door of the monument and go either right or left from the first vestibule.

NOTE: Lincoln’s wife, Mary and three of their sons are interred in the wall opposite his grave. The fourth – and longest surviving – son, Robert, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Posted in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery with tags , on July 13, 2017 by Cade

shriver1July 10, 1921 – August 11, 2009

“As we hope for the best in them, hope is reborn in us.” – Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Mary Kennedy was the middle child of Joe and Rose Kennedy. She was married to U.S. Ambassador to France and one-time Vice-Presidential candidate, Sargent Shriver. From early on, Eunice developed a special relationship with her oldest sister, Rosemary, who was born with an intellectual disability at a time when stigma and lack of care for this population was rampant. Her care for Rosemary and those with similar disabilities became her lifelong calling. When her brother became President of the United States, she used the opportunity to elevate her cause. She founded a number of national and academic programs to help advance research and support options for people with disabilities. This all culminated with her organizing an athletic event in her backyard in 1962. “Camp Shriver” welcomed children with intellectual disabilities to a safe place to play and use sports as a means to grow. The success of Camp Shriver eventually led to the first ever international Special Olympics in 1968. Through her work with the Special Olympics, Shriver impacted the lives of millions of people around the world. Her charitable and foundation work earned her countless awards and a reputation as a consummate humanitarian.

Eunice Shriver died of undisclosed causes just two weeks before her brother, Edward. She was 88.

Burial 

St. Francis Xavier Cemetery – Centerville, MA

shriver

 

Specific Location

From Pine St., enter the cemetery and immediately go to the far right (west) road. Take this road to the back of the cemetery and the Shrivers are buried in a prominent plot on your left toward the end of the road.

 

Harry Houdini

Posted in Machpelah Cemetery with tags on February 15, 2017 by Cade

houdini1March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926

Harry Houdini (Erik Weisz) was a vaudeville escape artist and probably the most famous magician of all time. He got his start pulling card tricks and escaping from handcuffs in front of crowds in sideshows and eventually was able to entertain crowds across the country and Europe. As his reputation grew, so did his escapes. The handcuffs became more elaborate. Straight-jackets followed. Then padlocks, sealed wooden crates, milk cans, caskets, glass-cases full of water…whatever he could think of. Crowds flocked to see his death-defying escapes and his fame skyrocketed. Houdini was an intense protector of the art form of magic and spent a significant amount of energy debunking fake spiritualists and people who would tarnish the industry. In 1917, he became the president of the fledgling Society of American Magicians. Under his leadership, the society expanded to an impressive network of chapters in cities all over the country. He used his own resources to recruit talented magicians to join the fraternal organization. After an improbable career, Harry Houdini died rather abruptly at the age of 52 of an inflamed abdomen. Rumors around the cause of his condition swirled and ranged from “a college kid punched him” to appendicitis – all of which, appear to have happened and/or contributed. Either way, after continuing to perform in extreme pain for his last couple of shows, he was finally taken to a hospital in Detroit where he died a few days later.

 To this day, the S.A.M. continues to operate and a few key members are responsible for maintaining Houdini’s grave site – which has become a place of pilgrimage for many magicians.

Burial

Machpelah Cemetery – Queens, NY


 

Specific Location

Enter the gate from Cypress Hills St. and the Houdini plot is directly in front of you, just past the maintenance shed.

machpelah_houdini

Dr. Seuss

Posted in Cremated with tags , on February 7, 2017 by Cade

seuss1March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991

Theodor Seuss Geisel…was a writer of books.
And he wrote of wubwuzzles and bumblers and jooks.
Fancy made-up creations with stars and striped hats.
There were cats in those hats and little Who acrobats.
He made foxes in sockses, a grinch and a turtle.
With names like the Lorax and Horton and Yertle.
Fish of all colors and beetles that battled
In puddles in bottles on poodles with paddles.
Dr. Seuss gave us oodles of tales to adore.
And he made ham and eggs much more green than before.
More than 70 works, beloved and clever.
A talent so rare, it should go on forever.
Except when it can’t.
Because, sometimes, cancer.

Burial

Cremated – Dr. Seuss was cremated and his ashes were scattered. There is a memorial garden replete with statues of his famous characters in his native Springfield, MA.

   seuss2 seuss3

Stella Adler

Posted in Mount Carmel Cemetery (NY) with tags on January 30, 2017 by Cade

adler1February 10, 1901 – December 21, 1992

To those outside the acting profession or theater and film circles, Stella Adler may not be an instantly recognizable name, but within these groups, she is a titanic figure. Adler rose to fame from a small child in a prominent Yiddish acting family in New York City. Her onstage upbringing led her to Broadway, London, Paris and Hollywood. At an early age, she met renowned Russian director, Konstantin Stanislavski, and was immediately enthralled with his teachings and techniques. After joining the famed Group Theater in New York, Adler studied under Stanislavski for a brief time in France. At that point, the course of her career as an acting teacher was basically set in stone. She moved to Los Angeles and went on to teach fundamentals of characterization to the likes of Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Judy Garland, Harvey Keitel, Elizabeth Taylor, Lena Horne, Warren Beatty, Dolores del Rio, Martin Sheen…you get the idea. She was kind of a big deal.

She continued to act and direct on stage into her 60s and taught even beyond that. She passed away of heart failure in L.A. at the age of 91 leaving behind multiple acting schools and a legacy that changed the profession forever.

Burial

Mount Carmel Cemetery – Queens, NY

Specific Location

Section 1 (Old), Block F, Path 11, Lot 373, Grave 7; From the main road, take Path 11 in Block F all the way to the point where it turns sharply to the right. Stella is buried on the right side of the path just a few spots before this turn.

oldmtcarmel_adler

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Posted in Green-Wood Cemetery with tags , , on January 23, 2017 by Cade

basquiat1December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a significant neo-expressionist artist in the late-70s/early-80s New York City pop-cultural scene. Rising to notoriety as a street artist (he comprised half of the graffiti-art duo, SAMO), Basquiat eventually found a following in various galleries in Manhattan. His work consisted of both image and text, highly influenced by juxtaposition and dichotomy. Basquiat also created experimental music with his band, Gray (a nod to Gray’s Anatomy, the reference book that heavily influenced his work throughout his life – not the ABC television show that debuted 17 years after he died.) Through his art and music, he spoke out against institutionalized racism and power structures and made commentary on issues such as class struggle and heritage. Professionally, he collaborated with musicians like David Bowie and artists such as Andy Warhol. His relationship with Warhol was particularly important and when Warhol died in 1987, Basquiat – who was already deep into a herioin addiciton – spiraled into a depression that he never recovered from. He died of an overdose the following year at the age of 27.

Burial

Green-Wood Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY

basquiat2

Specific Location

Section 176; Off of Sassafras Avenue in the cemetery’s Southern portion, Jean-Michel is buried in a double row of modest graves designated as “Lot 44603.” As you walk from Sassafras Ave. his grave is in the left row about 60 graves in (he is in grave 342).

green-wood_basquiat

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on January 17, 2017 by Cade

fisher_reynolds2
October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016
April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016

Carrie Fisher was born into Hollywood royalty. Her father was crooner Eddie Fisher and her mother was actress and iconic girl-next-door, Debbie Reynolds. Onstage from the very beginning, she enjoyed a very successful career. She will forever be linked to her most indelible character, Princess Leia from the blockbuster Star Wars film franchise. But, she was more than a strong, rebellious princess. Fisher was a fearless comedic actor and writer. She wrote critically-acclaimed screenplays and novels and was for a time, the go-to “script doctor” in the industry. She overcame personal demons stemming from drug abuse and bi-polar disorder and always, always, kept her wit. She was a beloved icon who just happen to also play a beloved icon. On a flight from London to Los Angeles after Christmas in 2016, Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack. She was revived and taken to the hospital, but never recovered. After four days in intensive care, she was gone.

Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds won the title of Miss Burbank 1948 at the age of 16. Executives from MGM and Warner Bros. were in attendance and immediately snatched the young girl up. Her career exploded and, within a few  years, a breakout role opposite Gene Kelley and Donald O’Connor in Singin’ In The Rain made her a star. Many more movies followed. And TV shows. And records. And…whatever else she wanted to do. Her career spanned nearly 7 remarkable decades. All throughout, she adored her family. Despite a number of high-profile marriages/divorces/feuds-with-Elizabeth-Taylor, Debbie always loved her family. In the aftermath of her daughter’s sudden death, Debbie, herself, suffered a stroke at the age of 84 and died the following day. According to her son, her last words were “I want to be with Carrie.”

Hollywood can hardly script something so unbelievably tragic and yet so powerful.

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, CA

Photo taken prior to burial

Photo taken prior to burial

Specific Location

Court of Remembrance, In the newest addition at the southeast corner of the CoR, Debbie and Carrie are interred together in the large, dark marble sarcophagus along the southeastern wall.

flhh_fisher-reynolds

 

Eubie Blake

Posted in Cypress Hills Cemetery with tags on January 10, 2017 by Cade

blake2February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983

Jazz and ragtime pianist/composer, James Hubert “Eubie” Blake was, by all accounts, a naturally-gifted musician. He first exhibited his talent at a random music store organ at the age of five. In a career that spanned nearly 70 years, Blake wrote for vaudeville, Broadway, film and television. His hit songs such as “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Charleston Rag” became mainstays in popular music. He wrote the music for the 1921 Broadway musical Shuffle Along, which is notable as one of the first musicals written by, about and for the black community. Some 50 years later, the musical Eubie! was produced featuring a vast catalog of his music. Toward the end of his life, Blake was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and, to my knowledge, is the only person to ever appear on the vaudeville stage AND Saturday Night Live.

Burial

Cypress Hills Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY

 

Specific Location

Section 11, St. Phillips; At the “T” intersection of Highland Way and Jennings Place.

cypresshills_blake

Henny Youngman

Posted in Mount Carmel Cemetery (NY) with tags on January 2, 2017 by Cade

youngman1March 16, 1906 – February 24, 1998

Henny Youngman was the “King of the One Liners.” As a comedian, Youngman worked tirelessly for 7 decades. His trademark routine – which involved a series of quick, one-liner jokes and violin interludes – made him a truly unique comedy legend. Known to play anywhere, anytime, for any amount of money, Youngman never let success alter him. He was a mainstay on TV shows like Laugh-In and appeared in classic films ranging from Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part 1 to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. His most famous joke “Take my wife…please.” was just one of many that were directed at his wife, Sadie. While the comedy poked fun at their relationship, the reality was much sweeter. He adored his wife. It’s said the only times he stopped performing were in the days following her death in 1987 and the final month he spent in the hospital. Youngman died of pneumonia at the age of 91.

Burial

Mount Carmel Cemetery – Queens, NY

Specific Location

Section 2 (New), Block 9, Section 11, Lot 45, Grave 1; Enter the new section’s main gate and follow the road to the left until you see a large family marker with the name HEYMAN on it on your left. Henny and his wife are buried just behind this marker.

newmtcarmel_youngman