clark gable carole lombard forest lawn

The morning of January 22 brought details from Carole and her mother’s brief funeral, held the day before.

Simple Funeral Rites Held for Carole Lombard

Actress is Buried With Other Movie Immortals in Memorial Park

Carole Lombard was with the other movie immortals in Forest Lawn Memorial Park today.

After a brief, simple service–in accordance with the wish expressed in her will–the bodies of Miss Lombard and her mother, Elizabeth K. Peters, were interred in the green acres where are buried Marie Dressler, Will Rogers, Jean Harlow, Douglas Fairbanks, Lon Chaney, Tom Mix and many another movie star.

The sealed coffins of Miss Lombard and her mother, killed in last Friday’s aerial tragedy in Nevada, were blanketed with gardenias in the memorial church. Whether by chance or on purse, the caskets formed a “V” in front of the pulpit, where the Rev. Gordon C. Chapman said a prayer, read a psalm and recited one of Miss Lombard’s favorite poems.

Crowds Kept Away

Grim or mouth and wearing dark glasses to cover his red-rimmed eyes, Miss Lombard’s husband, Clark Gable, sat in an ante-room during the ten-minute service late yesterday. None of the invited friends, numbering less than fifty and including Spencer Tracy, Fred MacMurray, Jack Benny, Myrna Loy and Miss Lombard’s first husband, William Powell, ever saw him.

Miss Lombard had suggest in her will that the services be very simple. And simple they were.

Police stopped sightseers at the bottom of the long road leading to the chapel on the top of a hill overlooking San Fernando Valley were Mr. and Mrs. Gable had enjoyed what they said were the happiest years of their lives.  Photographers remained outside the cemetery. A dozen members of the press came not only as newspapermen, but as friends and mourners.

No Music at Service

There was no music. Miss Lombard would not have wanted it. Floral tributes, including two large United States flags made of red and white carnations and blue cornflowers, lined the chapel. None of the bouquets bore cards.

The Rev. Mr. Chapman, pastor of the Westwood Community Methodist Church, said a prayer. He read the 23rd Psalm. Then he recited the poem of an unknown author.

With that Mr. Chapman said the benediction and the mourners filed by the caskets into the gray afternoon. Interment was private, with only the members of the families as witnesses. Gable decided with thanks an offer from the Army of a squad of soldiers to fire a salute over the grave in memory of Miss Lombard’s war work.

He left the cemetery at the sunset, alone in the backseat of a rented limousine. His fans and Miss Lombard’s, numbering by now perhaps 100 at the gates, glimpsed him hatless, with chin in hand, as the car purred away.

The luminaries they mentioned do lay in peace in Forest Lawn Glendale, with the exception of Douglas Fairbanks, who is actually buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

 

Carole Lombard Buried Yesterday

Vivacious Carole Lombard, who loved life; welcomed it in its every aspect, was buried with brief, simple funeral services yesterday.

A prayer…a short eulogy…a poem…organ music..fewer than three score intimate friends in attendance.

That was all. That was the way the actress willed it. All except the eulogy. Friends insisted that the pastor, the Rev. Gordon C. Chapman of Westwood Hills Community Methodist Church, read a short tribute they had prepared. Clark Gable, Miss Lombard’s husband, consented.

Sharing in the simple services was Miss Lombard’s mother, Mrs. Elizabeth K. Peters. Mrs. Peters had been Carole’s almost constant companion from the time she was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., 32 years ago until they went to death together in a Transcontinental and Western Airliner crash near Las Vegas, Nev., last Friday night.

Otto Winkler, Gable’s publicity manager and close friend, another victim of the crash, will be buried late today.

Bodies of four others of the 22 crash victims were sent to relatives from Las Vegas yesterday. They were Mrs. Lois Hamilton, to Detroit; Captain Wayne Williams, pilot, to Kansas City; Co-pilot Morgan A. Gillette to Los Angeles for cremation and reshipment to Burlington, Vt., and hostess Alice Gets to Illinois.

 

You can see modern pictures of Forest Lawn Glendale here.