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Customer Discussions > Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel forum

question about Gram Parsons' wife Gretchen

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Initial post: May 11, 2007 2:50:25 PM PDT
John Jenks says:
There's a story point in this Gram Parsons documentary Fallen Angel that I don't understand. If Gram Parsons was legally married to Gretchen Burrell Parsons at the time he died, wouldn't she have the legal claim to his corpse & not Gram's stepfather? Unless I missed something, which is certainly possible. From what I understood in the documentary, Gram & Gretchen had separated, but I also thought that Gram had returned to her & promised to make a new life with her once he got clean, which was purportedly what he was going to be doing out in Joshua Tree (where, instead, he died). And Gretchen says on camera that she'd seen the body at the coroner's office. Have done some research on the web where some reports suggest that Gram had begun legal proceedings to divorce Gretchen, but nowhere do I find anything regarding whether or not they were actually ever legally divorced. And Gretchen is often referred to as his "widow," not his ex-wife. So if that's the case, doesn't the widow - and not the stepfather - get to decide what to do wtih the body?

Anyone in Amazonville know?

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 8:23:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2009 8:26:10 AM PST
Jimmy James says:
John: David Meyer's book, "Twenty Thousand Roads," clearly states that Gretchen was still married to Gram at the time of his death. In fact, the day after his passing, Gretchen filed a motion in court establishing her and Polly's "succession" to Gram's estate. Apparently, Gram had no will at the time of his death, in other words he died "intestate."

Bob Parsons let everyone know of the Parsons-Snively family's strong desire to bury Gram's remains in New Orleans. But the book does not directly answer your question: why didn't Gretchen exercise her right as the surviving spouse to have Gram's remains buried in California? Meyer's book does say that Gretchen's father, Larry Burrell, appeared at Phil Kaufman's house with the police in-tow, looking for Gram's body (which Phil did not have).

My best guess is that, in her grief over Gram's passing, Gretchen was in a state of shock (paralysis), and simply didn't have the ability to do all the things that needed to be done at that moment. Maybe she was simply too exhausted to fight Bob Parsons over the location of Gram's final resting place, and decided to let Parsons have it his way. Remember, it all happened so fast.

In any event, I can highly reccommend David Meyer's book -- as others in "Amazonville" have said, it is the perfect companion to the "Fallen Angel" film.
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Participants:  2
Total posts:  2
Initial post:  May 11, 2007
Latest post:  Feb 15, 2009

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Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel
Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel by Peter Buck (DVD - 2006)
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