Edgar Allan Poe

Walter Skold, quirky founder of the Dead Poets Society of America, dies after ordering his own tombstone

Walter Skold, quirky founder of the Dead Poets Society of America, dies after ordering his own tombstone

A month after commissioning his own tombstone, the quirky founder of the Dead Poets Society of America has died.

Walter Skold had enlisted the son of novelist John Updike to carve a unique tombstone that will be topped with a dancing skeleton and a quill.

Michael Updike, who received the poet's deposit last month, said he never expected to be carving the monument so soon.

Skold died Jan. 20, in Elkins Park, Pa., after suffering a heart attack, Updike said Friday. He was 57.

"He was a sweet soul," said Updike, of Newbury, Mass. "He was a kind person with this quirky predilection to poets' graves and death and the macabre."

Known as the...

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