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Friends Bid Slain Couple a Bittersweet Farewell

November 11, 1989|AMY WALLACE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Daniel T. Broderick III was an accomplished lawyer and a proud Irishman, his friends said Friday. He was also a cutup, a prankster who once sneaked into the Super Bowl without a ticket and who recently got down on all fours and bit a friend on the ankle.

Linda Kolkena Broderick was a vivacious beauty and a charming storyteller, but she was not perfect, her sister said.

"To us, she seems perfect. She wasn't. She had a problem with punctuality," said Maggie Kolkena-Seats, prompting knowing laughter from the more than 600 friends, colleagues and family members who crowded into St. Joseph's Catholic Cathedral for a morning memorial service.

During the hourlong service, laughter mixed with tears as several people shared their memories of the newlyweds, who were found dead in their Hillcrest home Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon, Daniel Broderick's first wife, Elisabeth, was booked on suspicion of two counts of murder after allegedly shooting Daniel and Linda while they slept.

But, at the service, no one mentioned Elisabeth, who had been Broderick's wife for 16 years before their divorce case went to trial last December. Instead, Father Joe Carroll, the president of the Joan Kroc St. Vincent de Paul Center, the city's largest homeless shelter, urged those attending to cherish their memories and celebrate Daniel and Linda with a toast.

"These were people we celebrated with," he said. "They would like this weekend that, wherever we are, that we toast them. Raise a glass of Perrier--or Jameson's, which (Dan) would prefer to support the old country. Celebrate life and enjoy each other like they did."

Two matching wooden coffins were wheeled to the front of the cathedral, near where Daniel and Elisabeth's four children, his parents, his brother and a cousin sat together. Linda's coffin was topped with white roses, Daniel's with red, and bouquets and wreaths crowded the dais, one in the shape of a shamrock and another forming two hearts intertwined.

The In Case Trio, three of Daniel's fellow members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick fraternal organization, sang ballads before the eulogies began. Mike Reidy, an attorney and friend, said Daniel, 44, had named the trio. "It means 'In case you need us,' " he said.

Sharon Blanchet, one of Linda's best friends, remembered the 28-year-old as a natural comedienne, who often got laughs by reciting the airline safety instructions that she had memorized as a stewardess.

Blanchet remembered that, on Daniel and Linda's wedding day, April 22, the groom toasted his bride with these words: "Her beauty was only exceeded by her sweet disposition."

Brian Monaghan, another friend, remembered that, during a recent dinner, he, Daniel and Linda playfully acted out a scene from a Peter Sellers movie. Daniel played a dog, and, at the appointed time, he crawled under the table and bit Monaghan's sock. He then straightened his tie and went on with dinner.

Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr., an attorney and close friend, recalled that, when Daniel first opened his private practice, he made a show of distributing business cards with a dime taped on the back, "just so you could afford to make the call." Recently, after Bartolotta teased him that the dime he'd carried in his wallet for 12 years wouldn't buy a phone call anymore, Daniel gave him another card, with two dimes.

He also recalled sneaking into the Superdome in New Orleans with Daniel, just for the fun of it. In closing, he addressed his friend tearfully. "Whenever it's my turn to meet my maker, I'll have these cards and these two dimes so I can find you, wherever you are."

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