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 Erma Bombeck

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Erma Bombeck Famous memorial

Original Name
Erma Fiste
Birth
Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio, USA
Death
22 Apr 1996 (aged 69)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial
Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Plot
Section 201, lot 395
Memorial ID
3722 View Source

Newspaper Columnist. For three decades, she chronicled life's absurdities in a syndicated column carried by hundreds of newspapers. She was born Erma Louise Fiste in Dayton, Ohio, to a father who was a city crane operator. At age fifteen, she was hired by the Dayton Herald as a copygirl. Shirley Temple came to Dayton premiering her latest movie. Erma interviewed her and the story was published on the feature page. That day marked the beginning of her writing career. She enrolled at the University of Ohio then transferred to Dayton University where she graduated. The Dayton Journal-Herald welcomed her back and she was assigned to the women's section. She began writing a column resulting in syndication appearing in thirty-eight papers the first year. Five years later, her column, "At Wit's End," was staple in 500, and at the time of her death, 800 newspapers. Erma was asked to lecture. Thousands of women turned out to hear her speak. She became an author turning out humorous book after book. Erma was appointed to the President's National Advisory Committee for Woman. She had an eleven-year association with the TV show "Good Morning America," which began as a couple of minutes of her zany twist on life then evolved in doing interviews with celebrities. Soon a movie and a sitcom for TV developed. A TV movie "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank," based on her book, was a dismal failure. A sitcom, "Maggie," suffered the same fate and was cancelled. She became involved with the Arizona Childhood Cancer Service. From a boy's three wishes came the name for her book, "Want to Grow Hair, I want to Grow Up, I want to Go to Boise." Parts of it were funny, and parts made readers cry. The book was profitable, and all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Foreign-edition sales' proceeds went to Eleanor Roosevelt International Cancer Research Fellowships. She maintained contact with and gave back to the University of Dayton in numerous ways, both in time and financially. She served on the board of trustees, spearheaded the University's fund raising campaigns, spoke at events including a writers' workshop. She received an honorary doctoral degree and was named a lifetime honorary trustee. A funeral Mass was celebrated with fellow Ohioan and former neighbor, Phil Donahue, giving a eulogy, invoking laughter from the congregation telling of living next to the Bombecks in Centerville, Ohio. Erma was brought back to her hometown and interred in the family plot A 29,000 pound rock has become a monument for her grave. It was brought by flat-bed truck from her home in Arizona. It reflects the empathy she had for the Southwest desert and to her years of residency.

Newspaper Columnist. For three decades, she chronicled life's absurdities in a syndicated column carried by hundreds of newspapers. She was born Erma Louise Fiste in Dayton, Ohio, to a father who was a city crane operator. At age fifteen, she was hired by the Dayton Herald as a copygirl. Shirley Temple came to Dayton premiering her latest movie. Erma interviewed her and the story was published on the feature page. That day marked the beginning of her writing career. She enrolled at the University of Ohio then transferred to Dayton University where she graduated. The Dayton Journal-Herald welcomed her back and she was assigned to the women's section. She began writing a column resulting in syndication appearing in thirty-eight papers the first year. Five years later, her column, "At Wit's End," was staple in 500, and at the time of her death, 800 newspapers. Erma was asked to lecture. Thousands of women turned out to hear her speak. She became an author turning out humorous book after book. Erma was appointed to the President's National Advisory Committee for Woman. She had an eleven-year association with the TV show "Good Morning America," which began as a couple of minutes of her zany twist on life then evolved in doing interviews with celebrities. Soon a movie and a sitcom for TV developed. A TV movie "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank," based on her book, was a dismal failure. A sitcom, "Maggie," suffered the same fate and was cancelled. She became involved with the Arizona Childhood Cancer Service. From a boy's three wishes came the name for her book, "Want to Grow Hair, I want to Grow Up, I want to Go to Boise." Parts of it were funny, and parts made readers cry. The book was profitable, and all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Foreign-edition sales' proceeds went to Eleanor Roosevelt International Cancer Research Fellowships. She maintained contact with and gave back to the University of Dayton in numerous ways, both in time and financially. She served on the board of trustees, spearheaded the University's fund raising campaigns, spoke at events including a writers' workshop. She received an honorary doctoral degree and was named a lifetime honorary trustee. A funeral Mass was celebrated with fellow Ohioan and former neighbor, Phil Donahue, giving a eulogy, invoking laughter from the congregation telling of living next to the Bombecks in Centerville, Ohio. Erma was brought back to her hometown and interred in the family plot A 29,000 pound rock has become a monument for her grave. It was brought by flat-bed truck from her home in Arizona. It reflects the empathy she had for the Southwest desert and to her years of residency.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 21 Oct 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 3722
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3722/erma-bombeck: accessed ), memorial page for Erma Bombeck (21 Feb 1927–22 Apr 1996), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3722, citing Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .