Earlier in the week on July 3rd, in a spur of the moment decision. I decided to cruise over to White Chapel Memorial Park, in Troy, Michigan. White Chapel Memorial Park is on W. Long Lake Road, adjacent to interstate I-75. Before my visit I compiled a list of three regionally known notable personalities who call this beautiful memorial park their final home. Before you get started digesting the info in this article. It should be known, that according to the website Find A Grave, there are fifteen notable personalities buried within the tranquil confines of this beautiful suburban Detroit cemetery.
Founded in the 1920s, by a group of businessmen led by Clarance J. Sanger. White Chapel Memorial Park, is nestled on 200 acres of prime heavenly real estate. As you casually cruise along the intertwining, tree-lined roads, while taking in the scenic views of this majestic memorial park. Pay particular attention to the overabundance of flower and shrub varietals. It is noted that White Chapel’s founder Mr. Sanger “envisioned a lovely park-like setting with lush greenery; a veritable symphony of floral splendor; rolling, landscaped lawns and majestic trees – an environment alive with the beauty of nature, reflecting the recurring miracle of the seasons, and serving to renew mankind’s faith in eternity.”
As you stroll, or take a leisurely cruise along the grounds of White Chapel. It should be noted that the cemetery has many offerings in the form of various examples of statuary exhibited throughout the 200-acre landscape. Also included are three chapels, a columbarium, multiple serene cremation gardens, and an exquisite fountain.
The key highlight of White Chapel is the stately Temple of Memories Mausoleum building. The Temple of Memories Mausoleum is designed in the classical architectural style. The mausoleum is a glorified oasis of imported snow-white marble, and bronze. As you take a leisurely stroll along the corridors of this truly majestic marble palace. You will be mesmerized by the gallery of priceless imported sculptures, hand stained glass windows, intricate mosaics, & paintings, pediments and hand carved relief panels.
One of the things I’d like to point out about White Chapel Memorial Park. Is that according to some the cemetery was the first cemetery located outside California, which was designed in the style of a memorial park. It’s kinda ironic to hear the notion. Because I’ve recently commented that White Chapel, reminds me a lot of the Forest Lawn conglomeration of memorial parks, in southern California. After your first visit I’m sure you will agree with me.
Upon my arrival at White Chapel. I reviewed the cemetery Map, I had with me. I then cruised over to the Garden of Prayer cremation garden . In Section: C, Grave: #275 of the Garden of Prayer, I found for the second time the cremation niche of professional race car driver Mauri Rose. Rose was a Three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1941, 1947 and 1948. He was portrayed as an Indianapolis 500 rival to actor Clark Gables character in the film To Please A Lady (1950). On New Years Day, 1981 Rose passed away from unknown causes.
After photographing the graveside cremains niche of Mauri Rose. I then b-lined it for Temple of Memories Mausoleum. Interred inside the mausoleum on the left side wall of the corridor to the right is noted Detroit based architect Albert Kahn. Kahn is best remembered as the architect behind a number of buildings in Detroit, and south-east Michigan. Many of these buildings are considered architectural gems.
Rounding out the trek at White Chapel. The last gravesite I planned to visit, and photograph was the graveside of “Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian. Located in Section H, Grave: #6178, is where you will find Dr. Death resting among the graves of others. To make a long story short, along with being a medical pathologist Kevorkian was an Assisted Suicide Advocate. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Kevorkian was given the sobriquet “Dr. Death,” by the local, and national media. He was convicted and sentenced to prison in 1999 for the assisted suicide death of Thomas Youk in September 1998.
In June 2007, due to declining health while incarcerated, he was granted early clemency and released from prison. Kevorkian was the focus of the 2010 HBO documentary “Kevorkian” and the 2010 motion picture “You Don’t Know Jack” starring Al Pacino. In 2011 while hospitalized for a blood clot in his leg. The blood clot would eventually break free and travel to his heart, pretty much ending his life. At the time of his death Kevorkian was also suffering from pneumonia and advanced kidney disease.
So that pretty much concludes the trek at White Chapel Memorial Park. Included below the “references/footnotes” are some scenery, and gravesite photographs I took while at White Chapel.
1. “Mauri Rose (1906-1981).” Find A Grave. 25 Jan. 2001. Web. 5 July 2013.
2. “Albert Kahn (1869-1942)” Find A Grave. 1 Jan. 2001. Web. 5 July 2013.
3.“Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011).” Find A Grave. 3 June 2011. Web. 5 July 2013.
4.“Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011).” Find A Grave. 3 June 2011. Web. 5 July 2013.
5.“Jack Kevorkian (1928-2011).” Find A Grave. 3 June 2011. Web. 5 July 2013.