While wandering around the Whispering Pines section of Forest Lawn Glendale recently, I came across this unusually touching and somewhat anonymous marker:
Next to it was a marker for Burton C. Brownell with the same death year, 1937. I imagined that K.B. was Burton's wife and they had lived to a ripe old age, with his heart giving out soon after her passing, like stories I've heard told about other widowers who just couldn't live without their true loves.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Katherine Perkins Brownell was 34-years-old when she committed suicide on June 16, 1937. The coroner determined that she inhaled ether while sitting in a bathtub of the affluent View Park (now known as Windsor Hills) neighborhood home that she shared with her husband, Burton.
Burton, a petroleum engineer, reported that he and his wife quarreled over going out to dinner, he left the house and upon his return found Katherine's body and two suicide notes ~ one for him and one for the police. The contents of the notes were not revealed.
On August 10, 1937, Burton, also 34, died, too. No articles explained his death, just a simple obituary listing. I'll look him up next week when I go to the Recorder's office on a research run. Whatever the cause of death I find listed, I will still believe he died from a broken heart.