Kobe Bryant’s gravesite: Small cemetery has another big star

The small cemetery where Kobe Bryant is buried contains the graves of some notable people — including one arguably as famous as the basketball star.

Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were buried Friday at Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach. They were killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash.

The 45-acre property on Spyglass Hill is a rolling lawn with flat-to-the-ground markers and a row of mausoleums.

Until Bryant’s burial, its most remarkable memorial was that of John Wayne. The world-famous movie star was buried in 1979 but had no grave marker until 1998.  Now the site is marked by a metal plaque bearing the image of a cowboy on horseback and an American flag in a Southwestern landscape, and this quotation:

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

In a 2004 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Wayne’s son Ethan said the site initially went unmarked out of respect for the families of those buried nearby. “They don’t want their loved ones’ graves trampled on,” he said.

But he said that, given his father’s strong connection to his fans, he was happy that people wanted to visit the grave. “If they want to go see him, I think it’s wonderful. He had a tremendous impact on people.”

Pacific View maintains a policy of revealing the exact locations of gravesites only to family members, but several online sources — including the FindAGrave website — provide directions to Wayne’s grave, and it is marked on the Google Map of the cemetery.

Among other people buried at Pacific View, according to FindAGrave:

  • Musicians Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) and Bobby Hatfield (the Righteous Brothers).
  • Restaurant founders Bob Wian (Bob’s Big Boy) and John Galardi (Wienerschnitzel).
  • Los Angeles Rams coach Ray Malavasi.
  • Televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch.
  • Fashion designer Bijan.
  • James Roosevelt II, congressman and son of Franklin Roosevelt.
  • Jimmy Cagney’s brother and sister.

Bryant was added Wednesday to the website’s list.

Bryant’s death certificate originally said he was to be interred in a cemetery in Los Angeles’ Westwood district, but that was later amended. Pacific View is close to the Bryant family’s church, Our Lady Queen of Angels, in Newport Beach.


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