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5 Headstones For Famous Athletes

By: Adam Reeson

No matter if you were a basketball fan or not, the recent death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was shocking news. Passing away at such a young age, we are left feeling sad that he died far too soon with much more to give.

Memorial gestures and services have taken place across the sports and entertainment world. At some point, there will likely be a significant monument or statue erected to pay permanent tribute to a person who meant so much to so many.

This got me thinking about other monuments and headstones in honour of our sports heroes who have passed away. Here are 5 Headstones for Famous Athletes:


Steve McNair

“Air McNair” left his mark on the NFL during his career with the Houston Oilers, Tenessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens. He led the Titans to a Super Bowl appearance that memorably came down to the last play of the game and was the first African American quarterback to win the AP NFL MVP.

McNair was tragically murdered in 2009, just two years after his retirement from the NFL. Fittingly, McNair’s headstone is shaped like a football, located in Griffith Cemetery in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi.


Gordie Howe

Known for his longevity, skill… and elbows… Gordie Howe is widely regarded as one of the top-5 hockey players of all-time.

After his passing in 2016, the legendary Detroit Red Wings star known as “Mr. Hockey” was cremated. After a large funeral in the Motor City, his ashes were placed in the base of his bronze statue which proudly stands outside of the Sasktel Centre in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


Maurice “Rocket” Richard

The Rocket’s fearless style of play made him one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time and an 8-time Stanley Cup champion. But more importantly for many French Canadians, he was a folk hero and role model for the people of Quebec.

After his passing in 2000, Richard was laid to rest in the historic Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal. An elaborate granite and bronze memorial was designed, featuring a flame in the centre. The flame is symbolic of his connection to the Montreal Canadiens, who often refer to generations of players “passing the torch”.


Johnny Unitas

The Baltimore Colts star quarterback was a three-time NFL MVP and was behind centre for the winning team of “the greatest game ever played” (1958 NFL Championship Game).

After his passing in 2002, Unitas’ ashes were placed in a personal columbarium in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, Maryland. While his monument is a fairly standard design, the horseshoe placed on the base is a nice finishing touch as a tribute to his career with the Baltimore Colts.

Tim Horton

Perhaps known more for the coffee and donut chain that he founded, Tim Horton played 24 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. In 2017, he was named one of the top-100 players of all-time by the NHL.

Horton was tragically killed in a car accident while driving home from a game in Toronto in 1974. He was laid to rest in York Cemetery in Toronto, where a unique and tastefully designed “H” shaped headstone was placed in honour of the legendary hockey player and entrepreneur.



From standard to unique – and everywhere in between – the stories of our sports heroes are memorialized in cemeteries and arenas across the world. An inspiring reminder of the timeless need as a society to remember the past and inspire future generations.

For Frontier Monuments, I’m Adam Reeson.

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  • "I wanted a unique headstone for a unique person. I created a custom design with the guidance from Adam Reeson. This was all done via the Internet since I do not live in the province in which it was to be installed. Adam cheerfully assisted me through the process with numerous suggestions of ways to improve the appearance and to cut costs. All of my numerous questions were very quickly responded to without my feeling like I was imposing on him. The result is a unique, beautiful, and everlasting tribute of which I am very proud. Thank you Adam."
    British Columbia
  • "Hey Adam. Thanks for everything you did to get everything done and finished for us. Impressive job. Thanks very much."
    Nokomis, Saskatchewan
  • "Beautiful work... thank-you so much. Glad to have this done now. We appreciate your hard work and dedication."
    Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan
  • "Adam was recommended to me by a Regina funeral home. Adam was professional, sensitive and very prompt in his communications with me. As winter settled in he needed to delay the completion of the cleaning and refused my payment offer until the job was completed. Sadly, I lost my Mother in Regina over Christmas and again I reached out to Adam for a marker for her. He was so compassionate and understanding, taking care to listen and hear what my sister and myself wanted and lead us through this process. Even though I am not in Saskatchewan and due to the present situation have no ability to be there anytime soon Adam ensured the marker was created and laid the week before Mother's Day. He then sent pictures to me. So very thoughtful. "
    British Columbia
  • "Adam at Frontier Monuments was very good to deal with. He met with us to discuss possibilities and he made knowledgeable and helpful suggestions. He was sensitive to our needs and all information given was clearly explained. The memorial plaque was prepared and installed on time and met all of our expectations--it was beautifully done."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "We are all so pleased with the marker. It turned out exactly how we wanted and the install looks great. Thanks again for working with us. I know it has been a bit challenging given the distance between us but the end product was spot on."
    British Columbia
  • "Hi Adam, Thank you for all you did for our family. We had the burial on Sunday and the stone looks amazing. It is more than I could have asked for."
  • "My family and I went to see the marker today, it looks perfect! My family said to thank you for your fine service."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Through this tough process, Adam was nothing but kind and caring. This stuff is not easy but Adam and his team took care of everything and made life a little easier for my family. I definitely recommend Frontier Monuments."
    Raymore, Saskatchewan
  • "Professional, very personable. Extremely knowledgeable. Great prices and service. The marker I wanted was done to perfection. I highly recommend this company."
    Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • "A pleasure to deal with, quote was very well priced and the job was done to perfection and on time. A fitting memorial to my Canadian relatives. Adam made time to meet with us when we were in Regina so we could personally thank him for a job well done. We would gladly endorse this business. "
  • "You were a pleasure to work with Adam and we thank you for everything you did for us, especially being a province away and doing everything via phone and email, much appreciated!"
    Red Deer, Alberta
  • "Adam was excellent during this process, lots of communication so we always knew where things were at. He did a beautiful job for our family"
    Broadview, Saskatchewan
  • "Thank you very much for the great work and service that you provided for our family. I will certainly recommend you to anybody I know that needs your services."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Thank you so much for the beautiful monument, everyone who has seen it is very impressed, as we are. Our Daughter was very impressed with you and your crew and the job you did. Thank you"
    Norquay, Saskatchewan
  • "I was able to stop by the cemetery and see the monument. It looks great! I am very happy with it and I'm sure the rest of the family members will be too. Thank you for all you're assistance in helping with this step. I will be sure to recommend you to others."
    Estevan, Saskatchewan
  • "Adam professionally presented the products and options available. His samples were very helpful in picturing the final pillow style monument. He provided several practical suggestions with lots of detail showing his great product knowledge. He impressed me by taking our unique request and perfectly capturing it in Granite. Adam provided exceptional service and was very patient with all of my questions, thanks Adam! I highly recommend Frontier Monuments, the service and value he delivers honours the life of your loved one."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Our experience with Frontier Monuments and Adam was exceptional in a difficult time for the family. Adam was prompt and professional and communicated with me every step of the way. We asked for a bit of a customized monument and Adam worked with me without hesitation to get the look we wanted. The end result is exactly what we hoped for. I recommend Adam and his company without hesitation."
    Emerald Park, Saskatchewan

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