Friday, October 25, 2013

Totally Texas -- Dallas dead, the famed & the infamous

Maybe it’s the spate of ghost walks that spring up around Halloween, maybe it’s the looming anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, but I set out to explore the gravesites of some of Dallas’ famous--and infamous--residents. A young woman in the office at Laurel Land Cemetery in South Dallas, last resting place of both musician Stevie Ray Vaughan and J.D. Tippit, the policeman killed while confronting Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. A young woman in the cemetery’s office provided a map, marking the location of Vaughan’s grave. I had to give her the section number for Tippit’s, who was buried well before she was born, but a passing maintenance worker also helped point me to the location. Besides these two, I’ll also list the graves of others famous or infamous in the Dallas area. Lure older children and teens on a tour of history by telling them it’s a ghost walk--but only during daylight hours, please!

Stephen (Stevie Ray) Vaughan (1954-1990) -- Laurel Land Cemetery, 6000 South R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35E), Dallas. From I-35, take exit 420 toward Laureland Road and stop inside for direction. The Vaughan family’s private plot isn’t marked on the cemetery map, but probably anyone in the office can indicate it for you. Currently, the tree-shaded plot between sections 10 and 11 holds only Stevie Ray’s grave, shown in the illustration for this post, and those of his parents.

I didn’t expect to find business cards among the memorial glass pebbles, crosses, and wire bracelets visitors have left on Stevie Ray’s grave. But we all mourn in our own way. Who am I to say cards bearing the mourner’s names and businesses aren’t appropriate?

In addition to Vaughan, entertainers buried in the Dallas area include murdered guitarist Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott (1966-2004), in Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 1219 North Davis, Arlington; and British-born actress Greer Garson (1904-1996), buried beside oilman-husband Buddy Fogelson, at Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery, 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas.

J.D. Tippit (1924-1963) -- Laurel Land Cemetery, 6000 South R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas. Tippit’s grave is in section 62, Lot 1, Space 7. Look for a modest marker against the fence fronting East Laureland road, near a stone bench.

The killer of Tippit (and most likely also of Kennedy), Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963), is buried in Rose Hill Memorial Park, 7301 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth. His marker there is a replacement for the stolen original. Other outlaws buried in the Dallas area include Clyde Barrow (1904-1934) and his brother Buck, in Western Heights Cemetery, 1617 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas; and Clyde’s lover and fellow outlaw Bonnie Parker (1910-1934), in Crown Hill Memorial Park, 9700 Webb Chapel Road, Dallas.

Mickey Mantle (1913-1990) is the most famous athlete buried in Dallas, at Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park, 7405 West Northwest Highway. The grave of the New York Yankee Hall of Fame member is in the Saint Matthew Mausoleum. Sparkman-Hillcrest is also the site of Dallas Cowboys head football coach Thomas Wade “Tom” Landry’s grave (1924-2000). Stop by the cemetery’s office for directions. Or for GPS coordinates to these and other famous burials in the cemetery, go to

For information about gravesites of the famous and infamous, I also got help from

(Next Friday, commemorations surrounding this year’s 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy)


  1. I'm currently sitting at northpark mall wondering what famous people are buried in this city. Apparently several of them are next to the mall! I need to pay visit!

    1. Will, sports greats Micky Mantle and Tom Landry are buried (or their ashes rest) at Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park a few miles west of Northpark on Northwest Highway. Check the cemetery's office for directions.