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Dead Poets Founder Dies After Commissioning Tombstone

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this April 20, 2010 file photo, Walter Skold of Freeport, Maine, reads a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem while posing in Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine.

ELKINS PARK, Pa. - The founder of the Dead Poets Society of America has died a little more than a month after commissioning his own tombstone. He was 57.
Walter Skold suffered a heart attack on Jan. 20, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where he'd recently relocated from Maine.
Skold enlisted the son of novelist John Updike to carve his slate tombstone. Michael Updike said Friday that he didn't expect to have to complete the carving so soon.
Skold visited the final resting places of hundreds of poets after launching the Dead Poets Society in 2008. The name was inspired by the 1989 Robin Williams movie about a teacher who uses poetry to inspire students.
A celebration of Skold's life is being held Saturday. He'll be buried at a family plot in York, Pennsylvania.