August 2022

Page A12 August 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Funeral Directors Research,Inc. AMRA INSTRUMENT, LLC 623 N. Tower (P.O. Box 359) Centralia, WA 98531 “the shorter the supply line the better off you are” WEB DIRECT GIFT & PRICING TM ® Century Fox and they immediately sent a drapery company to drape all windows. Marilyn’s body was described by Abbott: “She looked like a very average, ageing woman who had not been taking very good care of herself. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding her death had greatly exacerbated her poor appearance and she was unrecognizable.” The embalmer did his preservative procedure, but she still was not Marilyn Monroe. Abbott described the heavy neck and jowls caused by her lying face down and the autopsy loosening the neck muscles. A decision was made to draw her neck muscles together in the back. A small area of hair was cut and thrown in the trash. The studio sent over a Pucci gown, a bra and no panties. Abbott claimed the studio said she never wore them. The studio had also sent “falsies” she had used to enhance her appearance. She was then dressed, but still not Marilyn Monroe. Mrs. Hamrock of Pierce Brothers Management came into the embalming room and was dismayed at Marilyn’s appearance. She took out the falsies and threw them in the trash. She then shaped Marilyn’s bra with cotton until she was satisfied. Allan Abbott took the falsies and the cut hair and gave them to his wife, a devoted Monroe fan. Pat Spinelli, the night manager at Westwood, rolled a cot into the “reposing room” and spent the night there to serve as a security guard for Marilyn’s body. Joe DiMaggio and his close invitees had a private viewing of Marilyn the night before the funeral. Allan Abbott, Ron Hast, Marilyn’s hairdresser Sidney Guilaroff and her makeup artist Allan “Whitey” Snyder were the pallbearers. The only Hollywood person was her acting coach Lee Strasburg, who gave the eulogy. She was placed in a crypt at Westwood Memorial Park. The owner of the adjacent crypt later offered it for sale at a formidable price. It was finally purchased by someone who would be an appropriate neighbor, Hugh Hefner. He now rests adjacent to the woman who helped the sales of a very early Playboy magazine. Conspiracy theories about her death abound. Most involve the Kennedy brothers, Jack, and Bobby. No conclusive proof has been presented. Marilyn Monroe had a difficult life. She had a successful but difficult career. Her death will always be subject to conjecture. Goodbye, Norma Jeane Though I never knew you at all You had the grace to hold yourself While those around you crawled —Elton John, Candle in The Wind Observations “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” —Marilyn Monroe Dr. Ralph Greenson had to break the bedroom window. He climbed through and approached the bed. He gave its occupant a cursory look and told Dr. Hyman Engelberg, on the other side of the locked bedroom door, “She appears to be dead.” After Dr. Greenson unlocked the door, Dr. Engelberg entered and pronounced his patient, Marilyn Monroe, dead. It was 4:30 AM on August 5, 1962. Norma Jeane Mortenson entered this world June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Gladys Pearl Baker. Her father was never known to her, and she was later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker. She was raised in an orphanage and several foster homes due to the mental instability of her mother, and had been abused in several of these settings. To escape from this unstable situation, she married James Dougherty at the age of 16 while working at an aircraft factory. Dougherty then joined the Merchant Marines, stationed in the South Pacific. Meanwhile, photographer David Conover was sent to the factory to capture the working women helping the war effort. Norma Jeane’s beauty captured his interest and his camera lens. He made her a pin-up girl. She attracted the attention of a modelling agency and was featured in dozens of magazine photoshoots and covers. When her husband returned from service, he wanted her to stop modeling. Norma Jeane realized this was what she wanted to do to make a better life for herself, and they divorced in 1946. Her career was underway with a new name, new hair color and a chance to be in the movies. Nothing happens overnight, but Marilyn’s on-screen beauty and appeal were getting the public’s attention. In 1953, she appeared in Gentleman Prefer Blondes and How to Marry A Millionaire. Several other successful movies led to The SevenYear Itch and Some Like It Hot. Her 32nd and final completed filmwas The Misfits in 1961 (which was also Clark Gable’s last movie). Marilyn’s personal life was never stable and full of variety. After her divorce from James Dougherty, she didn’t marry again until her 1954 wedding to the “Yankee Clipper,” retired New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio. Unfortunately, DiMaggio was another husband who had trouble sharing his wife with world, and they divorced before the year was out. Her third marriage was to playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. He wrote the screenplay for The Misfits, but they separated after filming and divorced shortly before the premiere in 1961. Her depression over her lost marriage sent her spiraling into depression and substance abuse. Marilyn had begun filming for By Steven Palmer Something’s Got to Give, co-starring Dean Martin. When she didn’t show up at the studio, they found her unresponsive at home. She had overdosed, but recovered. The film was shutdown. She cloistered herself in her Brentwood home. On August 4, she reportedly spoke to actor Peter Lawford, who invited her to dinner with his wife, Pat Kennedy Lawford. Marilyn told him she was too tired, but spoke these foreboding words, “Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the President, and say goodbye to yourself because you’re a nice guy.” After midnight, Marilyn’s maid Eunice Murray noticed that her bedroom lights were still on. She tried the door, and it was locked. She knocked and received no response. Eunice called Marilyn’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. Marilyn had called him earlier to say she couldn’t sleep. Dr. Greenson told Eunice he would respond right away. Marilyn’s physician, Dr. Hyman Engelberg, was also summoned to the scene. When Dr. Greenson broke the window and entered, he found what the rest of the world would shortly know: Marilyn Monroe was dead. Marilyn was found face down, naked, in her bed. The receiver of her phone was tightly clutched in her hand. Her body was transported to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office. The Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Theodore Curphey, asked junior Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, to perform the autopsy on a young woman found dead in a Brentwood home. Dr. Noguchi did not realize that this was Marilyn Monroe until he was standing at the autopsy table. Dr. Noguchi reported that the 36-year-old, 5’4” woman, weighing 140 pounds, died of “barbiturate acute poisoning, ingestion of overdose,” and due to “probable suicide.” The toxicology reports revealed 8.0mg per cent of choral hydrate (a sleeping pill), and 13.0mg per cent of pentobarbital (or Nembutal), both dangerously high levels. The rumors were rampant that she had been injected with a drug shortly before her death, however Dr. Noguchi did not find an injection point. It was the bruise just above her left hip and left side of her lower back, that bothered him then and bothers him now, as he stated in a 2009 interview. He added that he would not change the cause of death but still would call for another investigation, as the bruises cause him concern. Marilyn’s body was released to Westwood Village Mortuary and Memorial Park, owned by Pierce Brothers Management. Pierce Brothers called in Allan Abbott to supervise the funeral. Allan and his business partner Ron Hast ran a funeral home support service company, supplying hearses, limousines and flower cars and doing first calls. Abbott raced to the mortuary and noticed two things. First was that reporters and others were rattling the doors and peering through the windows. Second was the fact that they could see through the windows of the chapel. After obtaining permission, uniformed and armed Pinkerton security guards appeared. Abbott then called 20th Remembering Norma Jeane Steven Palmer entered funeral service in 1971. He is an honors graduate of the New England Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences. He has been licensed on both coasts, he owned theWestcott Funeral Homes of Cottonwood and Camp Verde, AZ, where he remains active in operations. Steve offers his observations on current funeral service issues. Hemay be reachedbymail at POBox 352, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, by phone at (928)634-9566, by fax at (928)634-5156, by e-mail at steve@westcottfuneralhome.comor throughhiswebsite at or on Facebook. F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at Learn the Untold Story of the American Funeral Todd Harra WILMINGTON,DE— Why do we embalm the deceased? Why are funerals so expensive? Is there a reason coffins are shaped the way they are? When―and why―did we start viewing the deceased? And when―and why―did we start wearing black? How have funeral services evolved over time? Ceremonies for honoring the departed are crucial parts of our lives. Still, few people know where our traditional practices come from―and what they reveal about our history, culture, and beliefs about death. In Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral, funeral director and historical burial rites expert Todd Harra shares the gripping explanations for these rarely answered questions. Harra takes readers on a fascinating historical exploration of American funeral customs and burial rites— showing where they came from, what they mean, and how they are still evolving. You’ll follow the gripping evolution, from the assassination, autopsy, and burial of Abraham Lincoln to Aquamation (flameless cremation) and even composting. The rich story of the American funeral is one of constant evolution. Whether you’re planning a funeral service or are simply intrigued by the meaning behind American burial practices, Last Rites is an informative and compelling exploration of the history― and future―of the ceremonies they use to say farewell to those who have departed this world. Todd Harra has over a decade of experience as a licensed funeral director and embalmer and is a certified postmortem reconstructionist and cremationist. He has written two nonfiction books about the profession, Mortuary Confidential and Over Our Dead Bodies, and is an associate editor for Southern Calls, a renowned journal in the funeral profession. Harra is the president of the Delaware State Funeral Directors Association. For more, visit www. The book goes on sale August 2, 2022; ISBN: 978-1-68364-805-5. Send Us Your News! We welcome news of the industry. PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 CALL 1-800-321-7479 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS