Erma Louise Bombeck

Burial Location Visited
Dayton, Ohio April 21, 2010


While we were running to the graves of                                      However, we had much trouble trying to
Orville and Wilbur Wright, my father spotted                                find her final resting place, despite the
this sign pointing to the burial site of famous                               sign. It was only after fifteen minutes of
humorist Erma Bombeck. When we were done                             searching that we realized that she was
with the Wright brothers, we backtracked to                                buried beneath this giant boulder.
Bombeck's grave.


By the time we figured out where Bombeck                                 The two of us think that it is ironic that
is buried, it was almost entirely dark out.                                    someone who wrote for a living has no
                                                                                              words on her grave.

*** Interesting Facts ***

* A renowned newspaper columnist known for her wittiness and humor, Erma Bombeck was born on February 21, 1927 and grew up in Dayton, Ohio. Her family was met with tragedy when Erma's father passed away when she was just nine years old. With the breadwinner of the family gone, the Bombecks suffered several financial setbacks. At one point, the bank repossessed all of the household furniture. Erma used her humor and optimism to carry herself through these difficult times. When she was thirteen years old, she began writing a column for the newspaper at her junior high school.

* After graduating high school, Erma enrolled at Ohio University, though she began attending the University of Dayton after her freshman year of college. It was about this time in her life that she was notified that she suffered from polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary affliction in which cysts form on the kidneys. One day, she was told, her kidneys would fail on her. Though many people would be devastated by such horrific news, Erma decided to be optimistic and make the best of the time she had.

* In 1949, Erma became a professional journalist when she began working for the Ohio Journal Herald. She worked for the paper for five years, leaving at that point to raise her family. She had married in 1949 and subsequently would have three children. As her offspring grew older, Erma had more time on her hands. In 1964, she began to talk with a local newspaper editor about writing her own humor column. That year, her column At Wit's End began appearing in the Kettering-Oakwood Times. She wrote about being a wife, motherhood, and everyday things. The column was popular, and was soon picked up by other newspapers. Within a few years, At Wit's End would be carried by hundreds of publications.

* Bombeck also began writing for several magazines at this time, including Reader's Digest and Good Housekeeping. She was also penning books. In 1976, her book The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank was published, followed by If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? two years later. The humorist also appeared on the popular television program Good Morning America for a decade, from 1975 until 1986. Meanwhile, the popularity of At Wit's End continued to grow.

* Erma was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1990's and quickly checked into a hospital. She underwent a mastectomy and was fortunate enough to beat the cancer. However, she began to have more problems with her kidneys. They were finally beginning to fail, and she needed a transplant. After several years of dialysis and waiting, Erma received a kidney transplant in April of 1996. The columnist was then inspired to write about her ordeal to her readers, who responded by sending her thousands of letters wishing her well. Bombeck was not destined to get better, however. Within a few weeks something went terribly wrong, and Erma died from complications from the transplant. Today, her grave is marked by a 29,000 pound boulder, which was taken from her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She moved there in the 1970's.

Spouse: William Bombeck (      -      )

Last Words:
Website Builder