WaPo: Jim Thorpe's sons battle to rebury him in Oklahoma

"Funerals, like weddings, can be messy family affairs. Not everything goes according to plan. Emotions run high. Even pleasant people can be tense.

Few people who met Patsy Thorpe — third and most difficult spouse of Jim Thorpe, that primordial American athlete — accused her of being pleasant, in particular Thorpe’s children from previous marriages.

So when she pulled up to her husband’s in-progress Native American funeral service at a farm near here on the night of April 12, 1953, with a hearse and a highway patrolman in tow, everybody knew something bad was about to happen.

What transpired, however, is perhaps unmatched in the history of American funeral proceedings.

She barged into the service and announced that her dead husband was “too cold.”

She ordered the coffin loaded into the hearse, then drove away, taillights disappearing into the darkness."

Get the Story:
Battle over athlete Jim Thorpe’s burial site continues (The Washington Post Magazine 3/18)

Related Stories:
Column: Father and son working to return Jim Thorpe home (02/22)
Judge allows NAGPRA suit over reburial of Jim Thorpe remains (11/30)

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