HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY
Rose Williams, the little old lady in red
By Allan R. Ellenberger
March 27, 2010
Rose Williams spent her life dusting other women’s homes so she could indulge in what her few acquaintances believed was her solitary love: wearing red – red dresses, red hats, red shoes, red nightclothes. Red, for Rose.
But after her death on December 30, 1964, her acquaintances learned she had another love. For money.
Since arriving in California in the early 1930s to work as a domestic, the tiny English-born spinster had amassed $133,638. When county officers opened her safety deposit box after her death, they found it contained that much in gilt-edged securities. “And there may be a lot more in other banks,” one officer said.
How “The Little Old Lady in Red,” as she was known in the community, had saved to buy the stocks was anyone’s guess since no one really knew her.
“I wish I knew who her financial adviser was,” said Dep. Public Administrator Glenn Coffey. “She didn’t have a bad stock in the bunch. What bugs me is that I don’t know what she did with her dividends.”
When Rose was entombed in the Abbey of the Psalms on January 13, 1965, about two dozen persons, mainly those curious about the tiny woman who dressed all in red, were present. Also attending were Rose’s stockbroker, representative of the public administrator’s office and another little old lady, this one in black.
Just before Rose’s red casket was placed in the crypt, the latter put three red roses at the foot of the coffin with a note which read, “To an English rose from an English lady.”
A year later, based on a vague will that was found in the safety box, a Superior Judge divided Rose William’s fortune between the American Cancer Society and CARE, Inc.
To Find Rose Williams, the little old lady in red, go to Clifton Webb’s crypt in the Abbey of the Psalms, walk past it several feet and look up about two crypts from the top and you will find Rose.