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Lindbergh’s tropical gravesite

The Palapala Ho’omau Church, founded 1864 in Kipahula, near Hana, is built of limestone and coral.

The Palapala Ho’omau Church, founded 1864 in Kipahula, near Hana, is built of limestone and coral.

     Charles Lindbergh has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of Minnesotans. His grandparents pioneered in Melrose, and he spent much of his boyhood in Little Falls. Later he became a citizen of the world, and when he died, he chose to spend his last days in Maui, Hawaii, where he and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, had a vacation home. He is buried there in a peaceful country cemetery.

    Palapala Ho’omau Church in Kipahula, near Hana, is not easy to get to, and it was intended that way.  Lindbergh did not want his grave to become a tourist attraction, and the local residents do not want streams of traffic invading their quiet lives. The ferry from Oahu to Maui is currently in dry dock, and air travel is expensive.  The roads are in rough shape, deliberately kept that way, and those renting a car are required to sign a document saying they will not venture to Hana. Yet visitors come, many of them on special tours from Honolulu which arrange air flights and a van trip.

    Lindbergh was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1974. After it became apparent treatments were of no use, he chose to live his last days and die on Maui. He planned his own funeral. He is buried in a eucalyptus wood coffin built by local cowboys. He is wrapped in a Hudson Bay blanket and dressed in work clothes, his head resting on the pillow that accompanied him on his famous trans-Atlantic flight. His marble slab is set in a bed of stones, shaded by a Java plum tree. The inscription reads:  “Charles A. Lindbergh, Born:Michigan, 1902. Died Maui, 1974. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,” from Psalms 139:9.

    Anne Morrow does not lie beside her husband.  She was not as enchanted with Maui as he, and she returned infrequently. When she died in 2001 at the age of 94, she was cremated, and her remains were scattered in various places.

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