Dorothy Parker was born during a hurricane in 1893 — and finally officially laid to rest Monday, the day after Tropical Storm Henri hit the city, when the Jazz Age writer’s tombstone was unveiled in The Bronx.
The quirky unveiling ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery was befitting the famed humorist — and capped a yearslong effort to ensure Parker received a proper resting spot.
“This is finally her homecoming to her beloved New York City,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, president of the Dorothy Parker Society, a non-profit that promotes the work of the writer and member of the Algonquin Hotel’s famed Round Table of authors, humorists and actors.
The sun came out for the memorial, which featured a jazz band and readings from Parker’s work. One woman dressed in vintage flapper chic, and many attendees brought flasks of gin that they poured on the grave. Parker was a big fan of gin martinis.
Members of Parker’s family traveled from their home in upstate New York for the service, which was originally scheduled to coincide with her birthday Sunday.
But Henri’s threat of hurricane-force wind and rains shut down the cemetery, and organizers were forced to postpone the event for a day.
Although the satirist and poet died in 1967, her ashes took a circuitous route, starting after it was revealed she left her entire estate, including all future royalties, to Martin Luther King Jr.
Upon his death, her estate was to become the property of the NAACP.
But her will left no instructions on what to do with her remains.
As a result, her ashes sat in an urn in a Westchester crematory for six years before they were sent to the Manhattan office of her lawyer, where they languished in a filing cabinet for another 15 years.
In 1988, after gossip columnist Liz Smith wrote about the fate of Parker’s ashes, the NAACP decided to create a memorial for her outside its Baltimore headquarters.
But when the group announced it was thinking of moving to Washington, DC, in 2006, Parker’s family demanded that her ashes be disinterred and returned to New York.
Her ashes were buried in 2020 at the family’s plot at Woodlawn, with Monday’s ceremony revealing her headstone.
It features hand-carved roses and takes its inscription from one of Parker’s poems, published in the New York World In 1925.
“Leave for her a red young rose,” reads the inscription. “Go your way, and save your pity; She is happy, for she knows that her dust is very pretty.”
Parker was famous for her sayings, which included, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” and “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.”
The New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg issued a commemorative gin to pay for the headstone.
Along with the gin, mourners left red roses near Parker’s grave, which lies next to those of her parents and grandparents.
The family plot is in a section of the 400-acre cemetery that includes the graves of writers such as Herman Melville and E.L. Doctorow — as well as a man dubbed “The Father of Mixology,’’ 19th century New York City bartender Jerry Thomas.