How's that for a lively first sentence in a blog entry? I stumbled across this slightly weird story - just in time for Halloween - about a semi-retired Purdue professor named Dale Hoppe. Instead of collecting stamps or writing a blog, he visits gravesites of the well-known and the sort of well-known. He takes pictures of the graves and keeps them in binders labeled "Famous Dead People." There's a photo of Mr. Hoppe to prove this.
One of his first finds was the grave of Password legend Allen Ludden, shown in the picture. This is how his hobby got started...
Some years ago, I went with my wife, Mary, to stay at a bed and breakfast in Mineral Springs, Wis., which is right over the Illinois state line. While at breakfast, some of the others around the table started talking about how Betty White's husband, Allen Ludden, the game show host, is buried just down the road in the cemetery near this little inn where we were staying. As it turns out, he was originally from Mineral Springs. So when he died at age 63 in 1981, he wanted to be back home.It's a little sad that Mr. Hoppe first remembered Allen Ludden as the husband of Betty White. The guy had other claims to fame, after all. One thing I didn't know but learned from the photo of his grave is that Ludden was an Army captain in World War II. Wikipedia says he won the Bronze Star.
Mr. Hoppe wishes that more of the famous dead from his northwest Indiana area would have made the last trip home to be buried. "I wish some of the big names like Betsy Palmer, who was from East Chicago...would have made a final return to Indiana." I checked Find a Grave but couldn't discover exactly where the I've Got a Secret panelist is buried. R.I.P., wherever.