OB’s Mysterious Ashes Belonged to Star College Football Player and Inventor of the Ping Pong Net

by on November 9, 2012 · 2 comments

in History, Ocean Beach, Popular

Henry Lefevre – a star running back for USC and inventor of the ping pong net. His ashes were found in an OB car wash.

The amazing story of the mysterious ashes left at the OB Suds Car Wash has had a dramatic turn.  We now know much more about Henry Lefebvre – whose ashes were in the gold metal box discovered by the carwash owner more than 6 months ago.

As you may recall, the ashes were found and then turned over to the OB Mainstreet Association for safekeeping.  The OBMA then publicized the mystery surrounding the ashes – and the rest is history, sort of.  Members of the family have stepped forward to claim the remains – surprised that Lefebvre had not been buried back in 1995 – as some of them had attended his memorial service.

It does turn out that Henry Lefebvre was a well-known college football player in the Twenties and had become a millionaire by the Forties – by inventing the ping pong net.  His is an amazing story – yet we still don’t know how his ashes turned up at the OB Suds.

Lefebvre attended USC and played ball there as a star running back. In fact, he played in the very first game of football played at the LA Coliseum – and he made the very first touchdown.  And guess who else was on that USC team? John Wayne – yes, John Wayne “the Duke”. Lefebvre remained good friends with the actor for years after.

Henry Lefebvre – in the middle in uniform – at the end of WWII with siblings and wives.

According to ABC, here is his story:

Henry Lefebvre was born on Oct. 30, 1900. He came from a big family; he had four brothers and three sisters. His remaining family members had no idea he hadn’t been properly buried, she said.   “They were under the impression that his ashes had been dedicated in a gravesite next to one of his wives,” she said.  …

  Lefebvre was also the owner of the Sun-Aired Bag Company, a bag checking system used by pools, gymnasiums and motion picture companies for clothing storage, and he became very wealthy, [Denny] Knox said.

 “Gary [his nephew] told me that, as far as his family goes, his mom didn’t have much money at the time when the kids were growing up,” Knox said. “But he remembers Uncle Henry showing up with a car full of food quite often.”

 Knox said Lefebvre was married a few times but never had any children. He outlived all of his siblings, except one brother, who passed away a few weeks after he did.

Henry Lefebvre’s nephew is expected to pick him up on November 12th, meanwhile the OBMA is taking good care of him.

Of course, the why is still there, dangling …

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Story November 9, 2012 at 11:25 am



Terrie Leigh Relf November 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

What a story!


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