Jonathan Swift

Posted in St. Patrick's Cathedral (Ireland) with tags , on July 10, 2018 by Cade

November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745

Author, satirist and all-around political rabble-rouser, Jonathan Swift, is most widely known for his creation: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships…which is colloquially and mercifully shortened as: Gulliver’s Travels. Born in Ireland, Swift received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College in Dublin. He spent a lot of time in England involving himself in the rise and fall of the Tory government in the early 18th Century. He wrote some of his most scathing satire during this period and eventually ticked off Queen Anne enough that he was effectively “banished” back to Ireland, where friends were able to get him appointed as the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was back in Ireland where he wrote many of his most famous works including Gulliver’s and A Modest Proposal. After the death of his long-time friend (and secret wife?) Esther Johnson, Swift’s writings became decidedly death-focused. He grew irritable and began to show signs of what we now know as Alzheimer’s disease toward the end of his life. At the age of 79, the celebrated Dean of St. Patrick’s died and was buried beneath its floor.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Toward the southwestern corner of the nave of the cathedral. His grave is well marked and is included on the visitor guide map.


Luke Kelly

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , on July 2, 2018 by Cade

November 17, 1940 – January 30, 1984

Luke Kelly was widely considered one of the greatest Irish folks singers of all time. His success and influence as a member of the famed group, The Dubliners, earned Kelly an iconic status in Ireland. He helped lead the folk revival of the early 1960’s, but infused his own Scottish (from his mother) and English (from living there) imprints into the genre. Thanks to his distinct singing style, his versions of classic Irish songs became the quintessential versions for the generations that followed. Kelly spent the last years of his brief life in deteriorating health. His struggles with alcohol and a brain tumor led to forgotten lyrics and unfinished shows. He entered the hospital shortly after Christmas in 1983 and died a month later. He was 43. Scores of musical and video tributes (as well as statues and bridges in his name) have helped cement his legacy in the decades since his death. The city that reared him celebrates him. His grave marker reads simply:





Glasnevin Cemetery – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Saint Paul’s Section-LE 39; In the newer section across Finglas Road from the main cemetery, Luke is buried just to the west of the main road, in the last section on your right as you enter. His grave is 11 rows west of the main road and not quite halfway along this section.

Jack B. Yeats

Posted in Mount Jerome Cemetery (IE) with tags , , on June 25, 2018 by Cade

August 29, 1871 – March 28, 1957

Being the younger brother of one of Ireland’s most famous sons is a daunting existence. But, Jack Butler Yeats – brother to Nobel-winning poet, William – was not only up for the task, he matched his sibling punch for punch. Though he, too, found some success in writing, J.B.’s true medium was art. A talented illustrator, he moved into Expressionism and went on to become the most popular Irish painter of the 20th Century. He was celebrated for depicting, what playwright Samuel Beckett called “the issueless predicament of existence.” Meaning, Jack was able to dramatically and beautifully capture life at it’s most mundane and normal.  His 1923 painting “The Liffey Swim” won Yeats a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics because that’s apparently a thing that can happen. He also secretly contributed more than 500 cartoons to the satire magazine, Punch, under the pseudonym “W. Bird,” something he denied until his death in Dublin at the age of 85.


Mount Jerome Cemetery – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Enter the cemetery and turn right at the chapel, continue on Hawthorn Walk to the north until you reach a “Y” intersection. Veer left onto Neville’s Walk and immediately on your left there will be a marker for “Hunt”. Turn left in front of the Hunts and follow this row south and Jack’s grave will be on your right, about 15 spaces in.

Christy Brown

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , , on June 18, 2018 by Cade

June 05, 1932 – September 07, 1981

Christy Brown was a writer and artist who, due to having cerebral palsy, wrote and painted with the toes on his left foot. His autobiography, aptly named “My Left Foot” was adapted into the 1989 Academy Award-winning film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. One of 13 (surviving) children, Brown’s family was instrumental in nurturing his talent despite pressure to send him off to a hospital to be raised. In all, Christy wrote several novels, memoirs, poetry collections and painted dozens of stylized paintings. He was married in 1972 and his life and health began to fall apart. Many suspected his wife of abusing him and destroying a portion of his artwork. In 1981, Christy Brown choked to death during dinner in their home in England. A tragic end to an inspiringly lucrative life.


Glasnevin Cemetery – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Saint Paul’s Section- IF 50; Enter the newer section across Finglas Road from the main cemetery, turn right (west) at the main crossroad and walk to the second section on your left. His grave is 8 rows into this section and about 9 spaces south of the crossroad.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , , on June 12, 2018 by Cade

July 28, 1844 – June 08, 1889

“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was temporally a Victorian poet, but due to his innovative use of language, alliteration, meter and rhyme, he is widely considered one of the first modernist poets. His use of “sprung rhythm” – a term he coined to shake off the restrictive nature of the conventional meters in English poetry at the time – varied the accent syllables in his verses and allowed him to construct and rhyme freely. His work was a precursor to the free verse movements of the 20th century. A Jesuit priest who grew up in an incredibly artistic family, Hopkins’ work regularly focused on religion and nature…often at the same time.

Hopkins wrote throughout most of his life in England, but due to his chosen path as a monastic, he was conflicted on whether to accept praise or adulation for his work. When he first converted to Catholicism, he burned all of his early poems. Only copies which he had previously sent to friends survived. Later on, a key rejection from a publication of his (some would argue, masterpiece) The Wreck of the Deutschland led him to abandon the desire to publish for good. He wrote in anonymity – and increasing melancholy – for the remainder of his life. It wasn’t until after his untimely death of typhoid fever that his friend, poet-laureate Robert Bridges, began circulating Hopkins’ poems. This eventually resulted in publication many years later. The critical reception of his works has extolled him as one of the most influential and ground-breaking poets of his time.

But, time doesn’t work backwards. So it goes that one of the most well-regarded poets of the 19th century spent the last years of his short life in relative obscurity and desolation teaching (a profession he didn’t care for) in Ireland (a country he didn’t care for) only to die and be buried there in a mass plot…several decades before he would become THE Gerard Manley Hopkins.


Glasnevin Cemetery – Dublin, IRELAND

Specific Location

Jesuit Plot; To the left (west) of the main entrance, past the Parnell monument, Hopkins is buried with his brothers in the enclosed area surrounded by a low iron fence. His name is inscribed on the base of the central cross monument.

Tom Petty

Posted in Cremated with tags , , on March 3, 2018 by Cade

October 20, 1950 – October 02, 2017

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

“Wildflowers”  – Tom Petty

Thomas Earl Petty was rock and roll’s everyman. Whether fronting the eponymous Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, jangling along with his friends as a member of the Traveling Wilburys or simply selling millions of albums as a solo artist, Petty’s 40-year career was nothing short of legendary. Petty won 3 Grammys and worked with everybody who was anybody in music. His rollicking, southern rock transcended genre and impacted generations of music fans. His sudden death at the age of 66 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs shocked the industry, but he left behind a stunning catalog of songs and a firm legacy as a gentleman and one of the most popular rock icons of all time.


Cremated – Tom Petty was cremated and a memorial service was held for him at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in California. Whether or not his ashes will ever be spread “among the wildflowers” remains to be seen.

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.


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.

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.


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.


St. Francis Xavier Cemetery – Centerville, MA



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.


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.