Neil Armstrong

Posted in Cremated with tags , on May 22, 2023 by Cade

August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Alden Armstrong was a decorated naval fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut who will be remembered throughout history as the first human to walk on the moon. Born and raised in the aviation hotbed of Ohio, Armstrong would leave college to fly jets for the U.S. Navy during the Korean war. He flew 78 missions in an F9F Panther during the conflict based from the USS Essex aircraft carrier, earning several distinguished awards for his service. After the war, he finished college and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He became a test pilot in 1955 and eventually an employee of the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Now a civilian, Armstrong was not eligible to be selected for Project Mercury – since they only considered active-duty pilots. But when that restriction was relaxed for Project Gemini, he was selected as part of NASA’s “New Nine.”
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Rachel Kempson

Posted in Saint Peter's Episcopal Cemetery with tags , , on March 20, 2023 by Cade

May 28, 1910 – May 24, 2003

Rachel Kempson was an English actress who was as well regarded for her work on stage and screen as she was for launching an acting dynasty. Classically trained at RADA and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Kempson married matinee idol – and son of actors – Michael Redgrave in 1935. The couple starred together in a number of productions throughout their long careers. They had 3 children, Vanessa, Corin and Lynn Redgrave…all of whom forged their own, successful acting careers.
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Celebrity Graveland is 10 Years Old!

Posted in Just Because with tags on February 19, 2023 by Cade

Thank you so much to everyone who has visited and joined us on the journey. Be well!

Robert Reed

Posted in Memorial Park Cemetery (IL) with tags , on February 6, 2023 by Cade

October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992

There is no shortage of irony in the fact that the actor portraying “America’s Dad” – beloved television character, Mike Brady – wanted to be literally anywhere but there in that iconic TV house, with his iconic TV family. Robert Reed was a classically trained Shakespearean actor who studied at the Royal Academy of  Dramatic Arts (RADA) and made a name for himself replacing Robert Redford in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park on Broadway. Barefoot, along with a growing handful of successful television appearances, gained him a contract at Paramount Pictures and the opportunity to star in a new, ground-breaking sitcom called The Brady Bunch.

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Earl Van Dyke

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (MI) with tags , , , on January 30, 2023 by Cade

July 8, 1930 – September 18, 1992

Nicknamed “Chunk O Funk” or “Big Funk” by his session-mates, Earl Van Dyke was a piano player, keyboardist and band leader for the Motown in-house band collectively known as the Funk Brothers. Van Dyke stepped into the role when Joe Hunter left Motown in 1964 and played on hit records for artists like the Temptations, the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. He also recorded and played his own records, many of which were Motown inspired or covers of classic Motown songs.

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Judith Resnik

Posted in Arlington National Cemetery with tags , , on January 23, 2023 by Cade

April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986

Judith A. Resnik was a certifiable genius. There was evidence of her intelligence throughout her childhood, culminating with her attaining a perfect score on her SAT exam in high school. She studied electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and eventually obtained a PhD in the field from the University of Maryland…with honors, always. Her early career was spent with organizations like RCA and the National Institutes of Health. She helped the Navy design components for complicated radar and telemetry systems. At the urging of a friend, she also learned to pilot airplanes…getting perfect or near-perfect scores on her license exams – naturally. She was a gifted and brilliant individual and in 1978 she applied to be an astronaut at NASA.

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Johnnie Mae Matthews

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (MI) with tags on January 16, 2023 by Cade

December 31, 1922 – January 6, 2002

The first African American woman to own her own record label, Johnnie Mae Matthews was a hugely – if quietly – influential figure in the early 1960’s Detroit R&B music scene. A recording artist in her own right, Matthews worked early on with the likes of Otis Williams and the Distants, Jimmy and David Ruffin, Norman Whitfield, Richard Street and Berry Gordy. Gordy often cited Matthews as the one who showed him the ropes of the music business and encouraged him to start Motown records. Johnnie, under her label, Northern Recording Company, was the original manager of the Temptations when they were still known as “the Distants.”

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Bill Monroe

Posted in Rosine Cemetery with tags , , , , on January 9, 2023 by Cade

September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996

William Smith Monroe was a hugely influential country musician. Born into a musical family in the “Bluegrass State” of Kentucky, young Bill took up playing the mandolin since his older brothers had already learned guitar and fiddle. They formed a family band, the Monroe Brothers, to play local dances and other shows and Bill (along with brother, Charley) eventually landed spots on regional and national radio programs and a recording contract with RCA Victor. Over the next several years, Bill gathered a stable of talented musicians and eventually formed the Blue Grass Boys where he leaned heavily on his Scottish roots and the music he grew up with. By the time Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys had found and fine-tuned their unique sound, an entire new genre of country music was born.

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Aretha Franklin

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (MI) with tags , on December 19, 2022 by Cade

March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018

Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942. Her father, a Baptist minister, moved the family to Detroit when Aretha was 5 years-old to preach at New Bethel Baptist Church. After her mother died in 1952, 10 year-old Aretha found solace through singing in the church. It was immediately apparent to everyone who heard, that there was something special about her. She continued to sing and gain attention and by the time she turned 18, she signed a recording contract with Columbia records. Though her time with Columbia taught her about the business and generated a few minor hits, it would take a change for the world to finally meet Ms. Franklin. In 1966, Aretha Franklin signed with Atlantic records and exploded onto the international music landscape.

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Bobbie Smith

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (MI) with tags , , , on December 12, 2022 by Cade

April 10, 1936 – March 16, 2013

The Spinners were a popular American R&B vocal group that formed in 1954 in a housing project outside of Detroit. The group got their professional start at Tri-Phi Records, which was eventually absorbed into Berry Gordy’s Motown label. While they paid their dues alongside hitmakers like the Temptations and the Four Tops, the Spinners’ success was finally realized when they left Motown and signed with Atlantic records in the early 1970’s. Through all the highs and lows, the most consistent lead vocal was that of Robert “Bobby” Smith. Bobby – or “Bobbie” as he sometimes spelled it – led the Spinners on certified Gold singles like “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” the duet with Dionne Warwick “Then Came You” and “I’ll Be Around.” The latter – originally a B-side – was an unexpected success as DJs preferred playing it to the A-side single. It became the Spinners’ first million-selling record and their first #1 hit.

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