100+ Best Tombstone Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Profoundly inspirational tombstone quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.

Famous Tombstone Quotes

Live so that when the final summons comes you will leave something more behind you than an epitaph on a tombstone or an obituary in a newspaper. — Billy Sunday

James Joyce buried himself in his great work. _Finnegan’s Wake_ is his monument and his tombstone. A dead end. — Edward Abbey

We had some errors, and it dropped the girls’ morale, then they lost confidence in themselves. It’s our one bad game for the week. We are looking forward to playing Tombstone on Thursday. If we win against Tombstone, we’ll go to state. — Rand Baker

I used to want the words ‘She tried’ on my tombstone. Now I want ‘She did it. — Katherine Dunham

The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing. — Bessie Smith

I used to have nightmares that they would put ‘He played Ted’ on my tombstone. — Keanu Reeves

Death looses its sting when the epitaph drafted for the tombstone of the departed even by those with whom he crossed swords in his lifetime is filled with encomiums. — Uche Ohia

I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph, and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment. — Andy Warhol

Some people hate funerals. I find them comforting. They hit the pause button on life and remind us that it has an end. Every eulogy reminds me to deepen my dash, that place on the tombstone between our birth and our death. — Regina Brett

I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house. — Ann Richards

I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: ‘Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.’ I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have – When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do. — Harry S Truman

I have tried my best to give the nation everything I had in me. There are probably a million people who could have done the job better than I did it, but I had the job and I always quote an epitaph on a tombstone in a cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona: Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damndest. — Harry S Truman

How meagre one’s life becomes when it is reduced to its basic facts. And the last, most complete reduction is on one’s tombstone: a name, two dates. — Bill Vaughan

On my tombstone, I want written: ‘He never did ‘Love Boat! — Orson Welles

Nothing in Moderation We all loved him. — Ernie Kovacs

I want my tombstone to read: If this is a joke, I don’t get it. — David Brenner

I don’t want my tombstone to say actress. I want it to say human being. — Laurie Holden

Steel True, Blade Straight. — Arthur Conan Doyle

If you’re going to sit on someone’s tombstone, you might as well know something about them, right? — Nicholas Sparks

If I thought you weren’t my friend, I just don’t think I could bear it. — Doc Holliday

That’s the one for my tombstone… Here lies David Byrne. Why the big suit? — David Byrne

…there occurred to me the simple epitaph which, when I am no more, I intend to have inscribed on my tombstone. It was this: He was a man who acted from the best motives. There is one born every minute. — P. G. Wodehouse

I’ve had such a satisfying life professionally and personally. I hope my tombstone says, Never boring. — Alan Dershowitz

But I am greedy for life. I do too much of everything all the time. Suddenly one day my heart will fail. The Iron Crab will get me as it got my father. But I am not afraid of The Crab. At least I shall have died from an honourable disease. Perhaps they will put on my tombstone. ‘This Man Died from Living Too Much’. — Ian Fleming

My closest friend, who died not long ago, is buried near Marx’s grave in Highgate cemetery, so I see the gaggle of admirers laying roses at the foot of his tombstone regularly. I have never been tempted to leave flowers there myself. Great theories, shame about the practice. Marx did many things. But inventing class was not one of them. — Alastair Campbell

I’ve always felt that, when I looked at my tombstone, it shouldn’t say, ‘Mehmet Oz banged out 10,000 open-heart operations.’ I’ve probably done 5,000. Am I any better at it than 10,000? He shook his head. It’s just a different number on the tombstone. — Mehmet Oz

They didn’t understand what they were doing. I’m afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race. — Michael Crichton

A genius of comedy His talent brought joy and Laughter to all the world. — Oliver Hardy

Earth has scarcely an acre that does not remind us of actions that have long preceded our own, and its clustering tombstones loom up like reefs of the eternal shore, to show us where so many human barks have struck and gone down. — Edwin Hubbel Chapin

The act of writing is for me often nothing more than the secret or conscious desire to carve words on a tombstone: to the memory of a town forever vanished, to the memory of a childhood in exile, to the memory of all those I loved and who, before I could tell them I loved them, went away. — Elie Wiesel

I told my kids I just want three words on my tombstone, if I have one. I’ll probably be cremated. One is woman. I’m very comfortable in that role. I’ve loved being a woman, I’ve loved being a mother, I’ve loved being a grandmother. I want three words: Woman, Atheist, Anarchist. That’s me. — Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Novelist-Citizen of Two Countries Interpreter of his Generation on both Sides of the Sea. — Henry James

The other day, the way people [do] who are approaching their 80th birthday, I was thinking about all the last business – funerals and where do you want to be buried – and I thought if anything were to be inscribed on my tombstone, I said let it be that. — Frederick Buechner

A book has to be easy to open and you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me. — Karl Lagerfeld

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime. — Dean Martin

I want one word on my tombstone – dancer. — Agnes de Mille

He made us laugh, he took my pain away. I love you, Lauretta. — Marty Feldman

I conceive disgust at these impertinent and misbecoming familiarities inscribed upon your ordinary tombstone. — Charles Lamb

The chances that your tombstone will read ‘Killed by Asteroid’ are about the same as they’d be for ‘Killed in Airplane Crash. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Some people collect paperweights, or pre-Columbian figures, or old masters, or young mistresses, or tombstone rubbings, or five-minute recipes, or any of a thousand other things … My own collection is sunrises; and I find that they have their advantages. Sunrises are usually handsome, they can’t possibly be dusted, and they take only a little room, so long as it has a window to see them from. — Peg Bracken

The tombstone is about the only thing that can stand upright and lie on its face at the same time. — Mary Wilson Little

Leaning her silly, beautiful, drunken head on my shoulder, she said, Oh, Esther, I don’t want to be a feminist. I don’t enjoy it. It’s no fun. I know, I said. I don’t either. People think you decide to be a radical, for God’s sake, like deciding to be a librarian or a ship’s chandler. You make up your mind, you commit yourself (sounds like a mental hospital, doesn’t it?). I said Don’t worry, we could be buried together and have engraved on our tombstone the awful truth, which some day somebody will understand: WE WUZ PUSHED. — Joanna Russ

If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory. — Jefferson Davis

A Gentle Man and a Gentleman. — Jack Dempsey

Your next SMS will probably be around longer, and remain more legible, than your tombstone. For, unlike your tombstone or even your mortal coil, your texts may be worth something. — Douglas Rushkoff

On my tombstone, I really hope that someday they will write: He was true but partial. — Ken Wilber

I must say, some are not very beautifully made. They’re coffee-table books for people who drink alcohol. I have nothing against coffee-table books as long as they are well done. They must not look like gravestones on a table. Sometimes they are too big, they come in boxes and things like this. No, a book has to be easy to open and you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to lift it. I like books I can read in bed. Those big tombstones would kill me. — Karl Lagerfeld

(Palm Pictures founder) Chris Blackwell said to me 6 or 7 years ago that DVD doesn?t have to be a tombstone for creative content. He said (DVD) is such a great format that people will make content solely for DVD, and not just cheap franchise movies, but things that will extend the audio and visual arts. — Richard Browne

The city itself swung slowly toward us silent as a dream. No sign of life but puffs of steam from skyscraper chimneys, the motion of the traffic. The mighty towers stood like tombstones in a graveyard, leaning against the sky and waiting for — for what? Someday we’ll know. — Edward Abbey

My uncle Sammy was an angry man. He had printed on his tombstone: What are you looking at? — Margaret Smith

I am a worker, a tombstone mason, anxious to pleace averyburies and jully glad when Christmas comes his once ayear. — James Joyce

We had a good day. Tombstone and Safford were missing some of their top guns, but I’m really pleased with what our team did. That’s the important thing. — Adam Estrada

When I am dead and buried, on my tombstone I would like to have it written, ‘I have arrived.’ Because when you feel that you have arrived, you are dead. — Yul Brynner

Cemeteries in Bohemia are like gardens. The graves are covered with grass and colourful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. When the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles… no matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery. Even in wartime, even in Hitler’s time, even in Stalin’s time. — Milan Kundera

Bateman becoming an icon made me resentful. It will be on my tombstone that I created that character. And I resented that character haunting me. — Christian Bale

Having read the inscriptions upon the tombstones of the great and little cemeteries, Wang Peng advised the Emperor to kill all the living and resurrect the dead. — Paul Eldridge

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Stone the Builders Rejected. — Jack London

I conceive disgust at those impertinent and misbecoming familiarities, inscribed upon your ordinary tombstones. Every dead man must take upon himself to be lecturing me with his odious truism, that such as he now is, I must shortly be. Not so shortly, friend, perhaps, as thou imaginest. In the meantime I am alive. I move about. I am worth twenty of thee. Know thy betters! — Charles Lamb

I will not be back after these messages. — Merv Griffin

Who’s afraid of the big, bad buildings? Everyone, because there are so many things about gigantism that we just don’t know. The gamble of triumph or tragedy at this scale — and ultimately it is a gamble — demands an extraordinary payoff. The trade center towers could be the start of a new skyscraper age or the biggest tombstones in the world. — Ada Louise Huxtable

On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived. — Earl Weaver

A star on earth – a star in heaven. — Karen Carpenter

I never met a man I didn’t like until I met Will Rogers. — Mort Sahl

I know what I’m having ’em put on my tombstone: ‘I have nothing more to say’. — Ted Turner

I hope that on my tombstone it says ‘Born 1933, died 2043.’ I hope that’s my legacy. — Quincy Jones

Left love behind many years ago. Now it rests under a cross in the cemetery in Tombstone. — Franco Nero

Having ‘Oscar winner’ on your tombstone is a great thing. — George Clooney

You might be a redneck if your favorite hunting dog has a bigger tombstone than your grandfather. — Jeff Foxworthy

The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks, while in reality it is only the weight which is necessary to keep down the diver while he is hunting for pearls. — Jean Paul

Good Night Sweet Prince and a flight of angels sing to thy rest. — Douglas Fairbanks

Hear the bells ringing they’re singing Christ is risen from the dead! The angel up on the tombstone said, He is risen just as he said! — Keith Green

Fame – a few words upon a tombstone, and the truth of those not to be depended on. — Christian Nestell Bovee

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself. — Doc Holliday

Many years ago I sent an old, beloved jacket to a cleaner, the Sycamore Cleaners. It was a leather jacket covered in Guinness and blood and marmalade, one of those jobs… and it came back with a little note pinned to it, and on the note it said, ‘It distresses us to return work which is not perfect.’ So that will do for me. That can go on my tombstone. — Peter O’Toole

In testimony of their Respect For The Patriot of incorruptible Integrity, The Soldier of approved Valour The Statesman of consummate Wisdom; Whose Talents and Virtues will be admired By Grateful Posterity Long after this Marble shall have mouldered into Dust. — Alexander Hamilton

Here lies one whose name was writ in water. — John Keats

I shall be better satisfied if the same can be said of me as was said of the prophet of old, That I walked in the fear of the Lord, and begat sons and daughters [Genesis 5:22], than if it were inscribed on my tombstone that I governed the councils or commanded the arms of the whole continent of America. — Benjamin Rush

When I go, if there’s a tombstone it will say, She doesn’t give in. She doesn’t give up. And she never takes no for an answer. — Doris Roberts

Actually I like the idea of being a Renaissance hack. If tombstones were still in style, I would want to have the two words chiseled right under my name. — Dennis Flanagan

The one thing I would hope would go on my tombstone is, ‘I made my parents proud. — Roger Goodell

I work to please myself. I’m still not sure if movies are an art form. And if they’re not, then let them inscribe on my tombstone what they could about any craftsman who loves his job: Here lies Vincente Minnelli. He died of hard work. — Vincente Minnelli

The old dead trees are the most fascinating – the countless trees lying in the gullies and up the hills that fell perhaps a century ago, pulling up their roots from the earth as they toppled. The great upheavals left rocks in their huge tentacles and, as they slowly rot, the trunks are home to populations of creatures, from goannas to wild pigs. As grey as tombstones in a cemetery they lie there, having outlasted generations of farmers, as they’ll outlast me. In their own way they are as beautiful, more beautiful, than living trees. — Phillip Adams

Satire does not look pretty upon a tombstone. — Charles Lamb

The Doc Holliday of legend is a gambler and gunman who appears out of nowhere in 1881, arriving in Tombstone with a bad reputation and a hooker named Big Nose Kate. — Mary Doria Russell

Surely with as good reason as had Archimedes to have the cylinder, cone and sphere engraved on his tombstone might our distinguished countrymen leave testamentary directions for the cubic eikosiheptagram to be engraved on theirs. Spirit of the Universe! wither are we drifting, and when, where, and how is all this to end? — James Joseph Sylvester

I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone. — Ann Richards

She did it the hard way. — Bette Davis

What Muddy Waters did for us is what we should do for others. It’s the old thing, what you want written on your tombstone as a musician; HE PASSED IT ON. — Keith Richards

Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please. — Joseph Conrad

At Rest An American Soldier And Defender of the Constitution. — Jefferson Davis

I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph, and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment. — Andy Warhol

I loved Stand By Me. I loved Tombstone. Give men a little credit. Maybe we’ll be able to humanize women more and see more of their depth as people. — Evan Rachel Wood

Another thing I don’t want on my tombstone, Shane said. You have others? Claire asked. He held up one finger. I thought it wasn’t loaded, Shane said. Second finger. Hand me a match so I can check the gas tank. Third finger. Killed over ice cream. Basically, any death that requires me to be stupid first. — Rachel Caine

I had A Lover’s Quarrel With The World Robert Lee Frost (Old Bennington Cemetery, Bennington, Vermont) Our Darling Eva We Love You. — Eva Gabor

I don’t want a tombstone. You could carve on it ‘She never actually wanted a tombstone. — Ali Smith

I now believe when I’m dead and buried my tombstone will read, ‘I’m not entirely sure the band’s over. — Nick Mason

I cannot feel my legs from the waist down any longer. But who cares? I look good and that’s all that matters. And when I die of hypothermia for wearing formal shorts in winter, tell them to put that on my tombstone. — Eliza Coupe

The most touching epitaph I ever encountered was on the tombstone of the printer of Edinburgh. It said simply: He kept down the cost and set the type right. — Gregory Nunn

We live to love you more each day. — Jayne Mansfield

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