Archive for April 2nd, 2011

Blocher from distance

Blocher 9

This is one of the most famous monuments in Forest Lawn Cemetery. It shows Nelson Blocher, the family’s only son, in repose on a couch while his parents John and Elizabethe mourn him and a rather voluptuous angel (with unusual wings) hovers above.

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Blocher 8

Blocher never married and lived at home with his parents, assisting with the family business. When he was in his mid-30s, the story goes, he became infatuated with the family’s new, pretty, young Irish maid, Margaret Katherine Sullivan, called Katie. When he persisted in his attentions to her, Blocher’s parents sent him off on a business trip in Europe to purchase supplies for the family’s footwear business. Once he was gone, Katie disappeared – perhaps she departed freely, but most people believe that Nelson’s parents dismissed her. Returning to find the object of his affection lost to him, Blocher searched for her to no avail, eventually falling into a deep depression and illness. The Bible he clutches in sculpture is reportedly a rendering of the one he died holding, the only thing that Katie left behind in the Blocher home.

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The legend states that his mother, perhaps feeling guilty for her role in her son’s depression and ultimate death, insisted upon the construction of the mausoleum, and John Blocher himself designed it. Those who relate the tale often suggest that the angel bears a striking resemblance to the lost Katie, and that the family rests in three crypts below, with a fourth left for the disappeared Irish maid. According to others who have inquired (Douglas Keister, Stories in Stone), Forest Lawn Cemetery management states there are only 3 crypts below the floor.


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