Archive for March, 2014

Van Stephenson

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on March 28, 2014 by Cade

stephensonNovember 4, 1953 – April 8, 2001

Van Stephenson was a notable Nashville songwriter who wrote hits for the likes of Crystal Gayle, Dan Seals, Kenny Rogers and the band Restless Heart. But, beyond writing, he also had a career as a performer and recording artist. He had a number of solo albums in the 1980’s, but is perhaps most remembered as one third of the 1990’s country act, BlackHawk.Stephenson enjoyed success with the group for the better part of the decade. He left the group in 2000 due to being diagnosed with Melanoma. He died from the disease the next year at the age of 47.

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John Hancock

Posted in Granary Burial Ground with tags on March 28, 2014 by Cade

hancock1January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793

The first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, president of the Second Continental Congress and an important figure in the American Revolutionary War, John Hancock could be remembered for a number of things. But, it is, of course, his giant signature on the Declaration of Independence (he was the first to sign it) for which is is most closely associated. So much so, that the term “John Hancock” is nearly synonymous with “signature” in the U.S. even today. Continue reading

Dred Scott

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (MO) with tags on March 27, 2014 by Cade

scott4Circa 1799 – September 17, 1858

Perhaps the most famous slave in American history, Dred Scott sued his owner for freedom citing time spent living in free states. Unfortunately for Scott, he filed suit in Missouri (the family’s permanent residence) which was a slave state at the time. Local courts ruled against him. His case, however, eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme court where it also went against Scott. Having unsuccessfully tried gaining his and his family’s freedom through legal avenues, it wasn’t until months after the court decision that the Scotts were sold back to their original owners, the Blow family, who subsequently freed them. Continue reading

Frances Bay

Posted in Mt. Sinai Memorial Park with tags on March 25, 2014 by Cade

bay1January 23, 1919 – September 15, 2011

Frances Bay (née Goffman) was a Canadian actor whose early career involved radio programming for troops during World War II. She studied acting under famed coach, Uta Hagen in South Africa before settling in Los Angeles. Her career didn’t really take off until she landed parts in a number of movies and TV shows in the 1970’s and ’80’s including a turn as Fonzie’s grandmother on Happy Days. Continue reading

John Quincy Adams

Posted in United First Parish Church with tags , on March 19, 2014 by Cade

adams2July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States. While his presidency was unremarkable, even by early standards, his life in national politics was certainly impactful. He is the only U.S. President to serve in the House of Representatives AFTER leaving the presidency. He represented Massachusetts in Washington D.C. for the final 17 years of his life. Prior to being elected President, he served in the U.S. Senate and as Secretary of State under James Monroe. Despite all of this, he is probably best remembered for his service and prowess as a foreign diplomat. Continue reading

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Posted in Kensico Cemetery with tags , on March 18, 2014 by Cade

rachmaninoff1April 1, 1873 – March 28, 1943

The last of the great Romantic Russian composers, Sergei Rachmaninoff was born into a prominent, if broke, old-aristocratic family. He overcame a torrid childhood filled with dying siblings, a deadbeat father and multiple homes. Through it all, his love for the piano endured. Despite being a below-average student, Rachmaninoff went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory where he excelled. A gifted musician and composer who was influenced by predecessors like Tchaikovsky, he wrote the majority of his catalog before the age of 35. Continue reading

Wilt Chamberlain

Posted in Cremated with tags , on March 18, 2014 by Cade

wilt1August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999

Whether referred to as “Wilt the Stilt” (a name he hated) or “The Big Dipper” (a name he liked) or any of the numerous other nicknames he had, Wilton Norman Chamberlain could be called one, simple word: “Dominant.”

The 7′ 1″ basketball superstar literally changed the way the game was played. Because of Wilt, offensive goaltending became a no-no. Because of Wilt, dunking a free throw from a standing position (yes, he could do that) became a no-no. Because of Wilt, inbounding the ball OVER the backboard to a dunking big man became a no-no. He forced rule changes so that others could keep him in check. In his collegiate debut for the Kansas Jayhawks, Chamberlain scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds. And that was just the beginning. Continue reading