LOS ANGELES – Bob Hope's (search) family is saying thanks for the memories with a garden celebrating the late entertainer's life. Hope's remains were moved from a mausoleum at the San Fernando Mission's cemetery this week to the mission's new Bob Hope Memorial Garden (search).
His family and close friends, including actors Mickey Rooney and Red Buttons, dedicated the garden Wednesday. It opens to the public on Friday.
"I think he would be absolutely thrilled," said Hope's daughter, Linda. "And with all the green, it's got to remind him of a golf course, and I guess that is the next best thing."
An avid golfer, Hope played the game well into his 90s. He died July 27, 2003, at age 100.
Hope, whose theme song was "Thanks for the Memories," (search) entertained generations through vaudeville, radio, movies and television. He spent decades circling the globe to entertain U.S. troops stationed overseas, often in war zones.
Visitors to the historic mission's chapel will find the garden by taking a winding stone walkway from the chapel, past a memorial wall of bronze reliefs depicting high points in Hope's life.
Pine, sequoia and orchid trees shade the grounds, where other family members, including Hope's son, Tony, who died last year, are buried. Hope's widow, Dolores, has made arrangements to be buried there when she dies.
Linda Hope recalled her father's response when her mother asked him toward the end of his life where he might like to be buried.
"Surprise me," he told her.
"This is a surprise he would certainly enjoy," she said.