Mysterious ashes found at Ocean Beach car wash returned to family

Henry Lefebvre was USC football star, millionaire

Gary Lefebrve made the drive on Monday from Orange County to Ocean Beach to pick up his great uncle.

Henry Lefebvre's ashes had been sitting on the counter at the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association since Oct. 22.

"I'll make sure that he's well taken care of and put in his final resting place," said Gary Lefebvre.

The ashes were found more than six months ago at the OB Suds car wash in Ocean Beach. The owner of the car wash turned the ashes in after no one claimed them.

The metal box was dated 1995.

"I have no idea what happened between 1995 and 2012," said Gary Lefebvre.

A Team 10 investigation helped unite the ashes with the Lefebvre family after 17 years. With the reconnection came an almost unbelievable tale.

Team 10 researched the story at Henry Lefebvre's alma mater, USC.

Lefebvre was a star running back for the Trojans in the 1920s. Articles in the in the archives called him the "French Flash" and the "Flying Frenchman."

Lefebvre played on the same team as movie star John Wayne. According to Lefebvre's family, the two were friends and would spend summers working in Hollywood studios.

Other articles told stories that his relatives had not heard. Lefebvre was engaged to a beauty queen named Lillian Ludwig. She was an actress and referred to in the article as the "perfect girl."

Another article entitled "Lefebvre Hurt by a Girl" tells a story of Lefebvre getting knocked on the head by a golf ball hit by a girl on campus.

A third story from the Chicago Tribune says Lefebvre accidentally shot himself in the stomach with a pistol when he was in his 30s. He was not hurt badly, according to the article.

"All these different stories are now," said Gil Lefebvre, Henry Lefebvre's nephew. "We're seeing some evidence of the truth of them. It makes it even more exciting."

Gil Lefebvre was one of many family members who thought Henry Lefebvre was buried in a family plot outside of Los Angeles. The ceremony was called a "mock funeral."  The general manager at Glen Haven Memorial Park showed Team 10 a receipt that says Henry Lefebvre's ashes sat at the mortuary for two years before they were claimed.

"Obviously, there's a screw-up somewhere," said Gil Lefebvre. "You have a funeral and the guy's not there. They find the ashes 17 years later in San Diego."

Gil Lefebvre says that Henry Lefebvre married his nurse, Shirley Barbara Adams, before his death. She then died two years later. Gil Lefebvre says when his uncle's wife died, her daughter picked up both of their ashes. How Henry Lefebvre's ashes ended up in an Ocean Beach car wash is still unknown.

The owner of the cemetery said they would bury Henry Lefebvre back in his plot, free of charge.


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