Irene and Vernon Castle and their pets

Among others who are buried at Woodlawn and have their pets buried at Hartsdale are Irene Castle (April 17, 1893–January 25, 1969) and Vernon Castle (2 May 1887-15 February 1918). The Castles were a popular dance duo from 1910 until 1918, when Vernon died in a military flight-training exercise. The couple were fashion icons and as well. As a dance team, they introduced a number of dances, such as the Castle Walk, Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear, and a hands-free version of the Tango. They were also great animal lovers, and a number of their pets are buried around the Castle Monument, including their dog Zowie and her pet monkey, Rastus. After Vernon’s death, she became a staunch animal-rights activist, eventually founding the Illinois animal shelter, Orphans of the Storm. Their monument (40 53’26.01″N 73 52’37.67″W) at Woodlawn Cemetery is named “At the End of Day.” Near the end of her life, Irene Castle said in a magazine interview, “When I die, my gravestone is to say ‘humanitarian’ instead of ‘dancer.’ I put it in my will. Dancing was fun, and I needed the money, but Orphans of the Storm comes from the heart. It’s more important.”

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