For Kate Smith, Death Alone Isn't Grounds for Burial
updated 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
There's a chorus of disagreement on that point. Many of Smith's friends who've seen the design call the 11-foot-high, rose-granite structure a garish monstrosity. "It's disgusting," says Father Robert Lamitie, pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lake Placid, N.Y., where the mausoleum is supposed to be built. "Kathryn wouldn't want something you could walk into." The church prefers a smaller structure, an idea the executors term unworthy.
Money may be part of the problem, since an undetermined portion of Smith's $500,000 estate is earmarked for St. Agnes. Executors say the church would like to keep the $90,000 for itself. Smith's friends accuse the executors of trying to construct the mausoleum to keep the money out of church hands. Meanwhile the singer's body remains in a cold-storage vault in Lake Placid. Since redesigning a new structure could take six months, by which time the ground will be too cold to break, another year will probably pass before Kate Smith is finally laid to rest.