Cross and the Crown

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

The Gothic-style Miller family monument in the Glendale Cemetery at Akron, Ohio, is inscribed, “Be Thou Faithful Unto Death and I Will Give Thee a Crown of Life”. That message is further reinforced by the mourning figure atop the monument of a woman holding a crown in her hands.

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The crown is a symbol of glory and victory over death.  The reward awaits in Heaven where the victor will receive a crown of victory.

The crown symbol is found again resting on top of a cross found on each of the individual family headstones. The cross and crown symbols are green oxidized copper bolted to each of the family members’ headstones.

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The cross represents the suffering of Christ.

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Reach for the sky

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

This small monument is dedicated to the memory of a infant girl, the epitaph too faint and eroded to read clearly, is in the form of a bed.  The covers are pulled aside and the pillow still has an indentation where the little girl’s head rested.  The side of the tombstone shows a small child, surrounded by swirling clouds.  In this tableau she is looking toward the rays of light, representing Heaven, as she lifts her arms up reaching toward the lit sky.

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Eternal Sleep

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The most poignant and tender gravestones are those for children.  In the 1850s, the mortality rates for children under one year, were estimated at over 200 deaths per thousand, with much higher mortality rates for children under 5.

Here, is the gravestone of Mary, her barely visible and the other details originally carved into the gravestone eroded and unreadable.  It is clear, however, that this gravestone commemorates the death of a little girl.  She is seen represented lying down, her arm underneath her head forming a pillow on which she can sleep.  Directly under the sculpture of the little girl, are three poppies carved into the upper portion of the pedestal.

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In cemetery symbolism the poppy represents eternal sleep.  Just as it was portrayed in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, the main characters lie down in a field of poppies where they fall into a deep sleep.  That same imagery is used here.  Mary falls into an eternal sleep over a sprig of three poppies.

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Anchor

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

The anchor is an ancient Christian symbol that has been found in early catacomb burials.  The anchor was used by early Christians as a disguised cross.  The anchor also served as a symbol of Christ and his anchoring influence in the lives of Christians.  Just as an anchor does not let a moored boat drift, the anchoring influence of Christ does not allow the Christian life to drift.

 

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From Monumental to Simplicity

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I. O. O. F.) is a fraternal organization that formed in England in the 1700s as a service organization. The American association was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819. According to the I.O.O.F. Website, “Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.”

Members of the Odd Fellows, like many other society members, choose to be buried in common burial grounds.   There are several Odd Fellows graveyards in the United States.  In other cases a portion of the cemetery is dedicated to the lodge members, as is the case in the Glendale Cemetery at Akron, Ohio.  Here a large monument was built to honor the members of the fraternal organization.  Behind the screens are the names of the members who belong to the lodge.  Members are buried in a space close to the monument reserved for Odd Fellows members.

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

Glendale Cemetery, Akron, Ohio

The main symbol of the Odd Fellows is the three links of the chain which can been on top of the monument or on this simple metal marker that is placed next to one of the members buried in another part of the cemetery.  Within the three links are many of the markers display three letters,  F  L  T, which signify the organizations motto: Friendship, Love, and Truth.  This marker, however, is simple only displaying the links.

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Glass Angel

Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

This stained-glass window from the Neo-classical Doric style Loring Family mausoleum in the Rosehill Cemetery at Chicago, Illinois, depicts an angel in contemplative prayer.

The stained-glass window is ripe with Christian symbolism. It is always difficult to look at a piece of artwork like this and know whether the sun is setting or rising. The setting sun represents death—darkness. If the sun in this scene is a rising sun it represents Christ’s resurrection.

The angel with resplendent green wings and golden robe symbolizes God’s messenger.  But angels also have the double role as the guide to Heaven. Here the angel looks to Heaven while his hands are clasped together in prayer. Praying hands represent his pious devotion.

Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

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Would you believe…

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

Don Adams

April 13th 1923 September 25th 2005

Beloved husband, father and grandfather.

Proudly served his country during WWII.

Comedian, poet, philosopher, movie buff,

and never late for post time. A tough but

sensitive man with a sentimental heart

and a passionate soul.

 

He touched our hearts as Maxwell Smart,

secret agent 86 in the 1960’s classic TV

series, “Get Smart” and filled the

world with laughter that will

forever be remembered.

“Would you believe…”

As a kid, one of my favorite shows was Get Smart, a spoof about spies that parodied the James Bond movies which were all the rage at the time that also drew from the bungling and hapless Lieutenant Clouseau character in the Pink Panther movies.

The main character, Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, was played by Don Adams. His sidekick was Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon. Her character’s name was never revealed during the show.

In the series, Don Adam’s character bungled his way through each episode fighting the enemy KAOS. The show aired for five years, from 1965 to 1970. The series received seven Emmy Awards including three for Adams for “Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Comedy” for his portrayal of the bungling CONTROL agent.

Don Adams (Donald James Yarmy) is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery at Hollywood. A white marble angel stands over his grave holding a garland roses. There is also a bronze placard with the inscription above that portrays Adams holding his famous spy shoe phone.

The placard also gives some clues to what was important to Adams—his family. He was married three times—to Adlaide Efantis, Dorothy Bracken, and Judy Luciano—and had seven children. There is also the Marine Insignia on the placard which was a nod to his service in World War II. Adams lied to join the service. He served in the Pacific Theater and was wounded in the Battle of Guadalcanal. He contracted blackwater fever and was hospitalized for nearly a year before he recovered. There is also a reference to “never being late to post time”.  Adams loved to gamble.

The quote, “Would you believe…” was one of the many catchphrases that were spawned by the series, such as, “Missed it by that much!”, and “I told you not to tell me that!”

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