The late Elisabeth Kübler-Ross spent her life studying death, and a foundation dedicated to continuing her work will auction her estate today to raise money for their cause.
Kübler-Ross, a famed psychiatrist and author, lived in Scottsdale from 1995 until her death in 2004. In her 1969 bestselling book, “On Death and Dying,” she introduced the world to the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
With the blessing of her children Ken Ross and Barbara Rothweiler, 50 percent of the proceeds from the Kübler-Ross estate auction will go to the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.
“She was all about bringing death into the mainstream,” program director Kathy Sandler said. “Death is so taboo, but she was trying to get people to talk about it. Not only discussing death, but doing it in a compassionate way.”
Many of the items up for auction are artifacts or gifts Kübler-Ross collected on her travels.
Items range from Japanese kimonos, American Indian rugs, pots and a bow and arrow, to Australian boomerangs and handmade African drums.
Sandler said one of the items she expects to draw attention at Sunday’s auction is a pair of Kübler-Ross’ Birkenstocks.
“So many people have followed her throughout her life,” Sandler said. “They really want a piece of her life.”
Kathy Ward, 55, a Scottsdale resident who teaches nursing at Scottsdale Community College, was browsing through Kübler-Ross’ items Friday.
“I still refer to a lot of her work,” she said. “She was a real pioneer, a neat lady.”
The auction will start at 1 p.m. at 2324 E. University Drive in Phoenix. Items can be inspected beginning at noon.