On this day 69 years ago Carole Lombard Gable and her mother Elizabeth K. Peters were laid to rest in the Great Mausoleum of Forest Lawn, in Glendale, California much as she had requested. The entombment was preceded by a brief invitation only funeral service in Forest Lawn's Church of the Recessional.
One of the invitations to the funeral service.
The Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn, Glendale.
Recently I read the archive of the Los Angeles Times for a description of this event. There were 46 invited guests who attended the funeral service that was held shortly after both Carole's and her mother's remains were returned from Las Vegas by train with Clark Gable accompanying them.
The invitees included amongst others: Clark Gable's father; Carole's two brothers, Frederich and Stewart; Madalynne Fields Lang, Carole longtime friend and former secretary, (her husband, Walter Lange served as a pall bearer); Dixie Pantages Karlson, Carole's lifetime friend and her husband, director Phil Karlson; William Powell, Lombard's first husband and his wife, "Mousie"; Spencer Tracy and his wife Louise Treadwell Tracy; Jean Garceau, Carole's last and then Gable's secretary and actress Myna Loy. Lewis B. Mayer, Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling represented MGM.
Clark Gable entered the chapel quitely through a private family entrance. He sat with his father and an MGM official, unseen by the other attendees in a family alcove, "inconsolable and unapproachable".
Among Carole's pall bearers were Walter Lang, the film director and husband of Madalynne Fields, and Zeppo Marx, the comedian/actor, agent and longtime friend of Carole. Both Walter Lang and Zeppo Marx along with Stewart Peters, Carole's brother, had served as pall bearers seven and a half years earlier at the funeral of Russ Columbo. Carole's casket was also covered with a pall of white gardenias, with orchids added.
Zeppo Marx, Walter Lang and Stewart Peters serving as pall bearers for Russ Columbo. Russ' coffin is covered by a pall of gardenias, a gift from Carole. The pall bearers also wear them.
After the brief service in the Church of the Recessional which consisted of two readings of psalms and a work of poetry, Carole and her mother's remains were tranported the short distance to the Sanctuary of Trust in the Great Mausoleum where they were entombed side by side. (A carefully folded white dress had been placed inside Carole's coffin before it was sealed.)
Almost nineteen years later, Clark Gable was buried alongside of Carole and her mother. And twenty three years after that Kathleen (Kay) Gable, Clark's fifth wife and widow, was buried discretely in the same alcove, one row beneath and three positions to the left of her late husband.
Elizabeth Peters and her daughter, Carole, in Chicago, one week earlier on January 14, 1942.