The sudden death of Marsha Lee Howard — owner and former operator of Grand View Memorial Park, which is under investigation and facing lawsuits due to alleged mistreatment of remains — created a stir among many Glendale residents who were already troubled about the cemetery's fate.
In life and death, Howard was one of Glendale's most closely watched figures in 2006, and the legacy of her actions at Grand View Memorial Park may live on for years to come.
The cemetery Howard ran since 1999 came under fire after a surprise inspection in October 2005 resulted in the discovery of a closet filled with the cremated remains of about 4,000 people who were never buried or properly disposed, many of which dated back to the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s. And in November of 2005 she was removed from her duties and ordered out of her house, adjacent to the cemetery. She was also named in a lawsuit filed by families with loved ones there.