Posts Tagged ‘angel’


This sculpture, to the memory of Joseph Turkaly, is unlike any I have seen before. And there’s a good reason for that – it is his own creation. Turkaly was a Croatian-born sculptor who made his adult home in Cleveland Heights. I haven’t been able to determine the title to the piece at this time.


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Murray (4)

This is as closely as I was willing to get to photograph the little angel next to this monument. The angel does not look original to the family plot, and it startled me as I came around the monument.  Whatever material it is made of, it is not as strong as the monument beside which it sits, and the weathering on it has created an eerie illusion that the angel is melting.  You can kind of see it in the fact that one wing has slid slightly to be lower than the other.  The impact on the face is even more disconcerting.

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Lynch (5)

I have not found much information about the John and Clara Lynch family or where their money came from, but it is clear they had some based on their cemetery plot at Calvary Cemetery. This is one of the most photographed monuments at Calvary, and every article notes the little island in the road that it sits on.

Lynch (4)

The monument group features a central family marker topped with two statues.  Each family member has an individual marker.  The whole thing is surrounded by a low wall.  At the entrance to the plot, the wall supports two urns and then two pedestals supporting praying angels.

Lynch (6)

Lynch (7)

Lynch (8)

Lynch (3)

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Lydon (2)


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This is one of those angels that was not clearly in a specific family plot, but I’m sure it was meant to be, since the name on the front of the monument only reads “Bernadette 1899-1913.” I’m not sure why, but monuments with only first names on them strike me simultaneously as sweet and sad. Usage of only a first name conveys a level of intimacy, but after 100 years, the surname’s omission can be its erasure, making it that much harder for someone to confirm who Bernadette was. (Yes, many cemeteries have well-maintained burial records, but they can be damaged or incomplete, like those lost in East Cleveland Township Cemetery’s office fire.)

Bernadette (2)

Bernadette (3)


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Branigan (4)


There really wasn’t any question I was going to photograph this monument, and I would probably use it in one of my symbolism posts or collections of statues. When I saw what exactly it said, I knew it would get its own post.

Branigan (3)

Arthur J. Branigan
Born May 13, 1901
Died Sept. 6, 1916
Erected by Aunt Kate

Monuments that provide clear information on who put up the monument are fairly uncommon. Usually, they are of the “to my loving husband” or “here lies my beloved wife” variety. Even more rare are monuments that, like this one, specify that detail and the person who put up the monument is not a member of the immediate family. But of course, every observation I make leads to another question. Why did Arthur’s Aunt Kate put up the monument to him in Calvary Cemetery and not his parents or grandparents? Was he an orphan? Was Aunt Kate much wealthier than the rest of the family? Was she his aunt by blood? (Aunt being a common appellation used for fictive kin – I am “Aunt Ashley” to a half dozen children even though a geneaologist would say I only have two nephews.) For now, I can’t answer those questions.

Branigan (2)

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I’ve written before about angel statues in cemeteries that looked like children rather than adults. When we visited St. Paul Cemetery, all of the angel statues were child-like.

Lesjak (2)

Fifolt (2)

Novak (2)

I’m not sure if this is fashion or a cultural preference – the cemetery burials are heavily eastern European (particularly Slovenian).

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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.

Blocher 3

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.

Blocher 3

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.


Blocher 4

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If you haven’t noticed, I am particularly fond of photographs of statues. I wanted to take another moment to show you what other cemetery bloggers have found.

A Morbid Fascination has this photo of an angel, contemplating the dove on her lap.

Escape the Silent Cities has a lovely photo of this angel.

Sleeping Gardens shows us this extremely well-kept child’s grave watched over by a stone angel.

Over Thy Dead Body posts on a variety of small statues of children from cemeteries.

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Over Thy Dead Body has some lovely angel photos on her Wordless Wednesday post.

The Graveyard Detective’s post is appropriately named Remarkable Memorial Angels. She also found us this lovely but fragile broken angel.

Sleeping Garden’s Wednesday’s Child features an angel sculpture and Monday Mourning has angel statues from Venice.

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