Dead Poets founder dies after commissioning tombstone in Pa.

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 26, 2018 2:35 PM

(Elkins Park) -- The founder of the Dead Poets Society of America has died in eastern Pennsylvania 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, Montgomery County, 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.

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