April 30, 2019

John "Earthquake" Tenta

   John Anthony Tenta was a Canadian professional wrestler and sumōtori best known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation as Earthquake. After a promising start to his sumo career, using the name Kototenzan, Tenta switched to professional wrestling and became a high-profile star for the WWF, feuding with Hulk Hogan and winning the WWF Tag Team Championship with partner, and personal friend, Fred "Typhoon" Ottman. His professional wrestling career also encompassed runs in World Championship Wrestling, where he was known as Avalanche and The Shark, All Japan Pro Wrestling and a return to WWF as Golga. He died in 2006 after a long battle with bladder cancer. Source

29° 26.359, -095° 04.545

Towering Pines Section
Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery

April 23, 2019

Dorothy Malone

   Born in Chicago, Dorothy and her family moved to Dallas when she was six-months old. Tragedy struck Malone's family early on when two of her sisters died from complications from polio, so Dorothy decided quite early to make the most of her existence, and quickly settled on becoming a performer. She began modeling for Neiman Marcus as a teenager and after a brief stint at Southern Methodist University, where she majored in drama, she was offered a contract with RKO studios at the age of 18. She appeared in a number of films during her year with RKO, most notably Higher and Higher (1943), which also starred Frank Sinatra. After one year, however, RKO decided not to renew her contract.

   She signed a new contract with Warner Bros., and quickly raised her acting profile by appearing in films like Too Young to Know (1945) and Frontier Days (1945). Her first big break came when she appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in the Howard Hawks' film The Big Sleep (1946). This role led to bigger parts in films like the musical comedy Two Guys from Texas (1948), which was her first lead role. She left Warner Bros. in the late 1940s to become a freelance film actor. She continued nabbing a multitude of roles throughout the 1950s, including Torpedo Alley (1952), Scared Stiff (1953), and The Fast and the Furious (1955), the latter of which was also the first film produced by the legendary producer Roger Corman.

   In 1956, Dorothy appeared in a supporting role alongside Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall in the Douglas Sirk melodrama Written on the Wind. The film earned her her first and only Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She continued acting in films throughout the remainder of the 1950s and early 1960s, but in 1964 gained renewed attention for her role as Constance Mackenzie on the prime time soap opera Peyton Place (1964-69). Her role on Peyton Place ended in 1968 and Dorothy spent the next twenty-plus years of her acting career appearing in TV shows, made-for-TV movies, and little seen films. She appeared in only a handful of roles throughout the 1980s, with her last on-screen part being in Basic Instinct (1992). Dorothy spent the remaining years of her life in suburban Dallas, and died peacefully at a nursing facility on January 19, 2018 at the age of 93. Source 

32° 52.019, -096° 52.323

St John Mausoleum
Calvary Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum

April 16, 2019

Bronko Lubich

   Lubich was born Branko Sandor Lupsity in Batonja, Hungary on December 25, 1925. His father moved to Canada in 1926 and was eventually able to save enough money to bring his family over by boat to Montreal where they settled in December 1937. During his teenage years, he began working out with his friends at the local YMCA and took up amateur wrestling. He excelled in the sport and was selected to represent Canada in the 1948 Olympic Games, but he did not compete, having broken his arm while in another competition prior to the Olympics.

   Although choosing to continue his amateur career, he also started work at an aircraft factory shortly after to support his family. It was while working out at the Montreal YMCA that he met local wrestlers Harry Madison and Mike DiMitre who suggested a career in professional wrestling. He was initially trained by DiMitre and made his professional debut in 1948. At 6-foot, 175 pounds, he spent his early career as a lightweight wrestler under the name Bronko Lubich and began teaming with Angelo Poffo by the late 1950s. In 1959, during a match between Poffo and Wilbur Snyder in Detroit, the referee was knocked unconscious. When Snyder attempted a pinfall, Lubich entered the ring and knocked out Snyder with his cane and revived the referee in time for Poffo to score a pinfall instead. This was the first time a manager had directly interfered in a wrestling match and, at the time, was one of the biggest televised angles. A rematch between Poffo and Snyder at the Olympia Stadium was attended by 16,226 people.

   In 1961, Lubich made his debut in the Dallas area as the manager of Angelo Poffo. For three years, the pair would become one of the most hated "heels" in the territory. On a number of occasions, his interference saved Poffo from losing the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. He and Poffo also held the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship defeating Pepper Gomez and Dory Dixon in Houston, Texas on May 12, 1961. They held the titles for a month before losing them back to Gomez and Dixon on June 1. He and Poffo left the territory undefeated in 1964, Lubich moved on to Mid-Atlantic territory where he would remain for the majority of his career.

   It was during this time that he was teamed with Aldo Bogni, in part due to the advice of promoter Jim Crockett, Sr., with their in-ring personas portraying hostile foreign wrestlers. They were joined by manager "Colonel" Homer O'Dell, and later George "Two Ton" Harris, who quickly became one of the top "heel" tag teams in the territory. O'Dell reportedly carried a revolver and sometimes fired it behind the arena to scare off fans who sometimes waited for them outside after the event. He and Bogni were later "sold" to Harris who participated in 6-man tag team matches with them.

   Lubich would continue teaming with Bogni in the Carolinas, Florida and Stampede Wrestling up until the early 1970s. They faced many of the top stars of the era including the Flying Scotts, George Becker and Johnny Weaver, Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, Lars and Ole Anderson and Mr. Wrestling and Sam Steamboat. He would also win the NWA Southern Tag Team Championship with Bogni defeating Eddie Graham and Lester Welch for the belts in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 11, 1968 before losing the titles to Jose Lothario and Joe Scarpa the next month.

   During the last two years of his wrestling career, he formed a tag team with Chris Markoff with whom he later won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship from Ciclon Negro and Sam Steamboat in Tampa on October 25, 1969. They lost the titles to the Missouri Mauler and Dale Lewis on March 14, 1970 after a four-and-a-half month reign.

   In January 1971, he returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in what would be his last year as a wrestler. Joined by manager George "The Blimp" Harris III, he and Markoff feuded with longtime rivals Mr. Wrestling and George Scott as well as Johnny Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel, the latter team being considered one of the great "dream teams" of the era. He and Markoff were later approached by photographer Geoff Winningham to participate in a photo shoot for Life during a wrestling event in Houston.

   Lubich and Markoff won the NWA Big Time Wrestling Tag Team Championship twice before his retirement in 1972 to become a full-time manager. He managed many of the top "heels" in the area including Bobby Duncum, Sr., The Spoiler and Boris Malenko with his men frequently battling "Playboy" Gary Hart and his stable throughout the rest of the decade.

   When Fritz Von Erich began promoting Southwest Sports, Jim Crockett, Sr. recommended Lubich to help go into business with von Erich. He also began refereeing for the promotion and, in 1973, refereed the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match between Jack Brisco and Harley Race in Houston. He would go on to referee matches in The Sportatorium, the North Side and Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth as well as weekly appearances at venues in San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston. Both he and Poffo had been involved in investing stocks and bonds with Merrill Lynch early in their careers and Lubich later advised other wrestlers on investing in the stock market and other financial concerns.

   After Kevin Von Erich decided to close WCCW in late 1990, Lubich retired from full-time professional wrestling, he refereed occasionally for Global Wrestling Federation. Although he and his wife had planned to travel following his retirement, both he and his wife, Radmila suffered from poor health. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 and died in 2004. Lubich as well had prostate cancer and suffered several strokes resulting in difficulty speaking. He died at his home on August 11, 2007. Source

32° 55.287, -096° 44.614

Court of Reflections
Restland Memorial Park

April 9, 2019

Kerry Von Erich

   Kerry Adkisson was born on February 3, 1960, to Jack and Doris Adkisson. Jack was a wrestler, so most of Jack's children followed in his footsteps (one child, Jack, tragically died in 1959 from electrocution). Kerry was a natural athlete, and a standout discus thrower; he actually held the SWC discus record - a record previously held by his father. After graduation, he decided to join the family business and become a wrestler, just like his father and four brothers.

   He debuted in his father's promotion, NWA Texas/Big Time Wrestling (later renamed World Class Championship Wrestling) on May 7, 1979 against Paul Perschmann. A quick study, Kerry won his first title, the NWA American Heavyweight Championship, on December 28, 1980. During his time in WCCW, he won several championship belts, including the NWA American Tag Team Championship, and several runs as the champion. On June 4, 1982, he defeated former NWA Champion Harley Race, elevating him to main event status. He then began a feud with Ric Flair. Their first pairing was in 1982 in a two out of three falls match (won by Flair), followed by a no disqualification steel cage match (won by Flair). The Fabulous Freebirds interfered in the cage match, starting a five year feud with the Von Erichs. After the collapse of WCCW, Kerry was hired by the WWF and became known as The Texas Tornado.

   Kerry was poised to become a superstar, but a serious motorcycle accident in 1986 would change everything. His injuries were so severe that one of his feet had to be amputated, and he wrestled with a prosthetic foot for the rest of his career. He became addicted to painkillers, and in 1991 was arrested for forging prescriptions. He was fired immediately by the WWF. He was given probation, but a little over a year later, he violated his probation by being caught in possession of unauthorized prescription drugs. Recently divorced and despondent over an impending prison sentence, Kerry took his own life on February 18th, 1993, at the family ranch. He was preceded in death by his four brothers Jack, David, Mike and Chris.

32° 47.257, -096° 43.146

Hilltop Section
Grove Hill Memorial Park

April 2, 2019

Placido Olivarri

   Placido Olivarri, a famed scout for the Texas Revolutionary Army, son of Simon Olivarri and Guadalupe Garza de Torres, was born in San Antonio, Texas, in February 1815. The Olivarri family initially arrived in San Antonio when José Olivarri, from the Basque region of Spain, established himself in the city as one of the first settlers. Placido Olivarri is most famous for his service as a scout and guide for the Texas Revolutionary Army under Sam Houston. His proficiency as a scout was so great that Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos of the Mexican Army offered a substantial bounty for Olivarri’s capture, dead or alive. During the Texas Revolution, Mexican sympathizers in San Antonio tried to apprehend Olivarri, but he was able to evade capture by concealing himself on Bowen’s Island on the San Antonio River.

   Following the Texas Revolution, Olivarri became a landowner and wagon train manager in San Antonio. Texas General Land Office records show that he received a certificate for one-third of a league of land in February 1838. Olivarri was married twice. His first wife, Juana Padillo y Olivarri, was born in 1816 in Bexar County and died around December 1862. She left her estate to her natural son born of a previous marriage. After her death, Placido Olivarri married Micaela Jimenes (or Ximenes), who was born in June 1844 and lived until 1917. Together, they had fourteen children.

   Late in his life, Olivarri was a member of the Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana. He was listed in San Antonio city directories in the 1880s and into the early 1890s as a “ranchman.” The San Antonio Daily Express on May 2, 1892, listed a Placido Olivarri (possibly Olivarri himself or his son) as chairman of his voting precinct. Olivarri lived in San Antonio throughout his life, and died on September 8, 1894. He was buried in the San Fernando Cemetery No. 1. The Texas Centennial Commission erected a Centennial marker at his grave in 1936.

29° 41.548, -098° 51.215

Block 3
San Fernando Cemetery No. 1
San Antonio