Why is Mary Tyler Moore buried in Fairfield?
Photo Katie Hinkle
In January, legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore was buried in a large plot at Oak Lawn Cemetery on Bronson Road. It was a small, private ceremony from which the public was excluded. Since then, many people have wondered, Why Fairfield? “Before Mary died she asked her husband and sister-in-law to research private, quiet, beautiful, and historic cemeteries all throughout Connecticut,” explains Oak Lawn Cemetery board president Bronson Hawley. “They narrowed it down to a couple, but chose Oak Lawn for several reasons.”
Hawley explained that they wanted a large amount of space surrounding the site. “Oak Lawn offered them the unique opportunity to buy several adjacent plots, allowing them to create a bigger area to memorialize Ms. Moore.” The family spent $200,000 on the angel statue that adorns her grave, sources say.
Jason Robards is also buried at Oak Lawn, and Hawley said that was a factor for the family, along with the historic significance of Oak Lawn. Founded in 1865, with a huge oak tree at the entrance—it seemed to the founders the ideal spot for a resting place as the Oak and the acorn are symbols of immortality. Many well-known and respected individuals are buried there—Mabel Osgood Wright, founder of the Connecticut Audubon Society and Birdcraft Sanctuary, and Virginia Marquand Monroe, who founded the Pequot Library. It was once a botanical garden and is officially recognized as an arboretum today.
Moore’s presence there has definitely raised Oak Lawn’s visibility. “We’ve had more inquiries from high-profile people,” remarks Hawley.