Dorothy Goetz Berlin

By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Cemetery

Section 9, Lot 282
Date of Death: 7/17/1912
(lst Wife - Irving Berlin)

Miss Goetz became Irving Berlin's first wife, married in 1912 (age 20). Dorothy Goetz Berlin died of typhoid contracted on their honeymoon trip to Cuba in 1912.

Irving Berlin was inconsolable for many months and stopped writing songs. When he started again, his first song was a tribute to Dorothy - "When I Lost You." In it he compares her beauty and charm with a rose. Immediately after her burial, he ordered a florist on West Delavan Avenue in Buffalo (across from Forest Lawn Cemetery) to place a fresh white rose on her grave every other day. This practice continued for more than 13 years, until Berlin finally remarried in 1925. During this time, he wrote a number of songs in memory of his lovely wife from Buffalo. He often visited the City and went to her graveside standing under the massive maple tree located next to her grave. There he composed several songs in Dorothy's memory.

Years ago a number of small stones were anonymously placed at the base of the Berlin monument spelling out "Always," one of Berlin's most romantic songs. Every winter, grounds maintenance and weather scatter the stones, but they are mysteriously perfectly repositioned every spring.

Mrs. Berlin's parents were Edward H. Goetz and Mary T. Goetz. Also buried in Section 9 with Mrs. Berlin are her sister, Ethel Goetz Rodman, known for her crocheting and knitting expertise, writing several recognized books on the subject and her brother, Ray E. Goetz, noted song writer and musician.

Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin was born Israil Belaine in Tyumen, Russian 1888. Berlin left Russia at age 5 to come to America. Berlin died 9/22/1989 (age 10 1 in New York City) and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.

Irving Berln became one of the first tenants of the Mark Brothers' 1914 Strand Theatre building at 47 & Broadway in NYC.

Irving Berlin's 2nd wife was Ellin Mackay Berlin. They married in 1926. Irving and Ellin had three daughters, Mary Ellin Berlin Bartlet, Linda Berlin & Elizabeth Berlin.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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