As my United Express flight made its final approach to Los Angeles Int'l Airport on Thursday afternoon, I noticed three things as I looked out the window from my seat. ¬†The Hollywood Park Race Track. ¬†The Los Angeles Forum. ¬†And, Inglewood Park Cemetery. ¬†My thoughts were then turned to Brenda Maloney '83.
Both curiousity and wanting to pay my respects to a girl I never met... to a girl I never knew... entered my mind. ¬†Many of us know of her as a result of the tragic story that took place in April of 1980. ¬†Few of us have thought about paying our respects to her 25 years plus later. ¬†Today will be that day for all of us.
The cemetery office was very helpful in providing information on where Brenda was laid to rest. ¬†They gave me a map. ¬†I stopped at the onsite floral shop so that I could place flowers on her grave.
As I drove through the cemetery, I never imagined how gigantic this place was. ¬†I was driving through it for the first time in my life. ¬†I had driven by it as a child with my family in the late 60's on our way to St John Chrysostom Church. ¬†I was always afraid to look out of the window of the car, and see the cemetery along the way. ¬†To me, it meant death... a place I never wanted to be. ¬†As a child, seeing it made me feel uncomfortable and scared. ¬†At 42, I'm not afraid anymore.
I parked the rental car on the road high up on the grade. ¬†I walked down the slope trying to be respectful while walking around the graves as I tried to find Brenda's. ¬†Amongst the grave markers, there were the plot numbers which I followed along numerically. ¬†
I found her grave. ¬†Plot: 319 ACACIA SLOPE GR B. The marker reads, 'Beloved Daughter and Sister'... 'Brenda J Maloney'... '1965 -1980'
Laid to rest along side her is her dad Gregory P Maloney who died in 2003. ¬†I brushed away the dried grass clippings from her marker. ¬†I placed the small floral arrangement in the ground, and said a few prayers that I am familiar with. ¬†For me, the world and time stopped for a brief moment...
The memory of Brenda J Maloney will never fade away. ¬†Her presence will always be felt with us.
I was so surprised to read that someone actually visited my sister's gravesite after all of these years. Brenda was my youngest sister.
She was 15 and I was 25 when she died in 1980. ¬†My life stopped for a long moment on that day, April 14, 1980 and has never been the same since. ¬†That also goes for her Mom, Mary, brother, Pat, and sister, Dawn, and all of the nieces and nephews that never had the chance to know Brenda. ¬†Her Dad passed away several years ago.
Terrence, are you related to Brigitte? ¬†She was a close friend of my sister, Dawn.
Thanks for remembering my little sister.
Nancy (LHS '72)
My heart really goes out to the family of Brenda Maloney. My sister Gloria was in Brenda's Class at Jefferson School.
I do remember how beautiful she was and the day of the tragedy. I know exactly what that family went thru, and how life stops. Our family lost a young brother by the name of Tony in 1997.
What I can say to Nancy and the rest of the family? I walked in your shoes of pain, and thought about The Maloney Family and how difficult it must have been when Brenda died. I felt very bad that I never reached out to express my sympathy.
One good thing we share is God gave us the chance to know these 2 people that will forever live in our hearts.
I was on the gymnastics team with Brenda and remember that day very well, I will never forget it. ¬†I always think of Brenda and miss her every day. ¬†We all suffer great losses in our lives but the tragic way Brenda went will forever be etched in my mind. I have always wanted to go and pay my respects to Brenda but have just never been able to get there. ¬†Now I have more incentive.
Just so you know Brenda truly has not been forgotten. ¬†I have faithfully visited her grave since she passed, along with others I have lost along the way whenever I go home. ¬†I was good friends with Jennine Escobar and would often walk her home before returning to school for practice and often Brenda would be walking ahead of us. ¬†On Brenda's last day I greeted her as I always did in the locker room before 4th period with my special Brenda holler of her name, and she always returned with the same. ¬†It's like that was yesterday when I play it in my mind... so yes, many of us remember. ¬†
I do still speak of her, and have thoughts of her whenever I hear Led Zepplin's ¬†'Stairway to Heven' ¬†cause that song and the album artwork remind me of her... Just so you know she was loved and has not been forgotten. ¬†Much love to the Maloney Family.
Lisa Bell - Class ¬†81'
P.S. ¬†I do have a picture of Brenda on the balance beam in gymnastics if you would like a copy.
I remember Brenda from H.A.L.L. She played softball with my best friend's sister, Ginger Smith.
When Gymnastics started, I befriended her since she was new and didn't know many people. YET! I remember she and I both witnessed the same funny (and embarassing) moment that was happening to another girl during tryouts. We caught each others' eyes and laughed. Our team wasn't strong on talent except for Brenda. How did we get so lucky? She was so sweet, beautiful, and popular even though she was 'just a Freshman.'
I can't even imagine the nightmare the Maloney family experienced. I would like them to know that I am another classmate who will never forget Brenda. My heart broke over a life that ended much too soon.
PS It is a small world. My uncle married Gail (Crist?) who's brother was married to one of the Maloney sisters.
Wow!! ¬†I was also on Brenda's team at LHS, what an athlete!! ¬† Amazing and beautiful. ¬†She always had a smile and was so warm and sweet. ¬†She made me feel welcomed and accepted when I first met her at Hawthorne Intermediate. ¬†I remember April 14th, 1980 so vividly, our team was in gymnastics practice (except Brenda of course because she didn't need to practice) when our Coach huddled us up to give us the news. ¬†I was shocked because we were just talking about Prom earlier in the day, how could it be her! ¬†I was sure there was a mistake, sadly though, it wasn't.
Brenda will never be forgotten. She was so beautiful.
She was taken from us way to soon, I always like to think she has been my lucky angel on my side all these years!! ¬†God Bless you Brenda!! ¬†God Bless You Girl!!
When I was 12 years old, I had a paper route. Our folding station was at The Herron Family home which was 2 or 3 houses from Brenda Maloney's home. Lori Herron was close in age to Brenda. Lori and Brenda would spend time at the house when all of us were there.
I lived around the corner on 139th Street. I knew Brenda well enough to always say 'hello' and ask 'how are you?'. I remember being invited into her home once or twice. Brenda's family was very nice to me.
In 1980, I was on the Leuzinger baseball field when someone came riding up on a bike telling us all what had happened. I remember the shock and terror of hearing the news. I had to walk home alone through that neighborhood. We had moved to 137th Street between Washington and Jefferson. My little sister, who is 5 years younger than me, had to walk all the way home from Washington Elementary.
I often drive by the house on Washington. I never drive by it without thinking about Brenda and The Maloney Family. I always wondered in all their grief if they might know how the tragedy had affected so many of us. We once knew a beautiful girl who's life ended before it began.
I'm so glad to find information about Brenda Maloney. ¬†I lived around the corner from Brenda Maloney (on 138th) at the time of her death. ¬†I was in the 8th grade at Hawthorne Intermediate; my older brother Brad was a freshman at Leuzinger. ¬†I will never forget having to go to my Aunt's after school because my mother did not want us home alone, not knowing who committed the crime or if they were targeting the neighborhood. ¬†My heartfelt sympathies go out to her family. ¬†Even though I did not know her personally, she has never been forgotten by me.¬†
Thank you all for writing your thoughts and memories about my sister, Brenda. I will share your words with my Mom, sister and brother (my Dad has passed away). It is such a good feeling to know that you all remember and think of her. Our family thanks you and we are all happy to hear that you are all doing well and living your lives to the fullest! Brenda lives in all of our hearts.
Well, I finally made it to the cemetery to pay my respects to Brenda, which I have been meaning to do for years as she is forever in my mind and heart. I wish it had been under different circumstances as I was in CA from AZ for Melanie Hull Flynn's Memorial Service.
Once I found her grave, which was really not very easy, I placed a single red rose on her grave and paid my respects and sat there remembering our days on the gymnastics team and the new friendship we were beginning as well as her short life that was taken so brutally.
As I was getting ready to leave, I remembered that her dad had passed a few years ago and that he was laid to rest next to Brenda. What struck me as odd was that although Brenda's gravestone was relatively clear of any weeds and I only had to clear away some dust and a few dead leaves that had blown over it, her dad's gravestone was very overgrown and I could only read the first three letters of his last name.
I spent a little more time cleaning away the weeds and cleaning off the dirt that embedded in the etching on the stone, wishing I had thought to bring scissors or something that I cut away the weeds. I spent a little bit of time paying my respects to him as well for I do remember him at Brenda's funeral too and wish that everyone who visits Brenda would also take care of her father's grave as well, if for no other reason than he deserves respect too. I just wish I had remembered when I bought the rose for Brenda that I had gotten her dad one also.
'Today, I went to pay my respects and visit my friend Brenda Maloney's plot at Inglewood Park Cemetery. My visit was long overdue. With some direction from a groundskeeper, I easily found the Maloney family marker and was happy to see that both Brenda's and her father Gregory's plots are being well maintained. I placed a single yellow rose for friendship on the right side of Brenda's plot and said a prayer in Terry Poublon's name. I also placed a bouquet of yellow roses on the opposite side.
I placed a single yellow rose on Brenda Maloney's father's plot and said a prayer for the family. There was a bit of over grown grass at the base of Gregory's plot so I cleared it away to find a small white rock. Though I didn't know Brenda's father, I thought to myself 'how fitting', he must have been the rock of the family.' - Dala
I clicked on the message board, and was so surprised to see this posting. What a lovely sentiment, Terrance, to visit Brenda's grave after all these years. I had met her in kindergarden and attended class with her though the 8th grade. I had a myriad of family issues while in school and she was the kindest person ever. She always had a kind word. Best to you and to Brenda's family.
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of Brenda's death. Her family misses her very much. She would have been 45 years old. I often wonder what her life would have been like and I am sorry that my own children and grandchildren never had the chance to know her. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Thanks to you all for your kind words.
I was so happy to see this message board, and very happy and surprised to see your name Nancy, I have wondered all my life since Brenda passed where you guys went, I didn't get to say bye or get a chance to keep in touch. I went through very tough times with losing Brenda, as I know you did as well, I can't remember alot of things, the mind is very powerful, lots of things are blocked out, but since recently on the computer, and on facebook, I have connected with everyone in school, 30 years have gone by, and people are sharing with me things, and it is slowly coming back. But, I have never, ever forgotten Brenda or your family, I considered myself family to you all, and Brenda to ours as well, I visit Brenda's grave every chance I get, I took my kids to see her and your dad, now I'll be taking my grandkids. One of the promises Brenda and I made when we were 5 was we would name our first baby girl after each other, well my oldest daughter is 26 and her name is Amy Jean, named after Brenda. I loved Brenda with all my heart, I think about her ALL the time I would like to talk to you more, so call me 559-308-5874, or email me, or on Facebook. Say hi to everyone for me, can't wait to hear from you. ¬† ¬†Love Ya, Jeanine.
I had the good fortune of meeting Brenda in the 6th grade at Washington Elementary. ¬†I remember her as a very bright, charming girl. ¬†I've never forgotten her, and still to this day still think of her. ¬†It was terrible what happened to her, her promising life cut short.
Since we just had a class reunion that I regrettably couldn't attend, I hope everyone will join me in making a toast to Brenda.
Ginger Smith passed away over 25 years ago. She had 2 sisters Cyndi (deceased) and Wendy and 2 brothers Bruce (deceased) and Robert. Ginger was one of my BEST friends growing up and I miss her every day. I know she has finally found the peace she so much deserved.
RIP Ginger and Brenda till we meet again. Love always.
I knew of Ginger passing away, but I did not know of Bruce's passing, both were very good people, In school me and Bruce would always compete in relay races, I seen him years ago, we had a brief chat. I just want to say, ¬†Brenda will alway's be remembered. My dad could never forget the tragedy that happened just a few blocks away, every time we would pass the house, he would have something wonderful to say about her. That day a flower was taken from all of us, and we will always have the pain of that day in our hearts.