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After Elvis Presley’s death, his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, continued to spend time at Graceland. She had family members who still lived there, and she ultimately became the sole heir of her father’s estate. Longtime Graceland maid Nancy Rooks said that Lisa Marie never seemed entirely comfortable in the house. She asked Rooks to accompany her upstairs in order to take something from her father’s closet.

Lisa Marie Presley took something from Elvis’ closet

After Elvis’ death in 1977, Rooks said Lisa Marie rarely went upstairs at Graceland. She didn’t seem entirely at ease in the house and didn’t want to go upstairs, where her father had died. Rooks could only recall Lisa Marie going upstairs once after Elvis’ death, and she didn’t want to go alone. 

“I noticed a change in her, however, whenever she came to the house after his passing,” Rooks wrote in her book Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Remembers. “The only time I remember her going upstairs was one time, several years after he had died, when she asked me to go up to his bedroom with her.”

Priscilla and Elvis Presley lay on lounge chairs. Lisa Marie Presley sits on Priscilla's stomach.
Priscilla, Elvis, and Lisa Marie Presley | Magma Agency/WireImage

Lisa Marie went to his closet and took only one item with her to keep.

“She got very quiet as we entered the room, and stopped, looked around for a few minutes, and then went over and got a black and white ballcap from his closet and walked out of the room with it,” Rooks wrote. “I think that just knowing that her father had died up there was too much for her. I guess it would be for most children her age.”

Lisa Marie Presley seemed less comfortable at Graceland after Elvis’ death

Rooks said that Lisa Marie’s discomfort at Graceland was apparent to her. Lisa Marie rarely spent the night there, opting to stay with Elvis’ cousin, Patsy. She could think of several reasons beyond Elvis’ death as to why the young girl wouldn’t feel at home in the house.

“For one, she didn’t feel as comfortable around Aunt Delta as she did some of the other members of the family,” Rooks wrote. “Even though they were related, Aunt Delta didn’t have that warm and caring way about her like some of the other family members did.”

Elvis’ Aunt Delta helped run Graceland, and Lisa Marie’s frequent clashes with her made her less comfortable at the estate. She also worried about the possibility of someone breaking in.

“She and a friend of hers had spent the night in Aunt Delta’s room, (Aunt Delta was away), and they had been awakened in the middle of the night by noises outside the bedroom window,” Rooks wrote. “We never did figure out if it was really something that they heard or if they had imagined it, but, in any case, it left a lasting impression on Lisa and she did not like to stay at the house after that.”

Nancy Rooks said she viewed Lisa Marie Presley as a member of the family

While Lisa Marie clashed with Aunt Delta, she clearly viewed Rooks as a trusted figure. Rooks saw Lisa Marie as family.

“Those of us who had the opportunity to watch her grow up treated the experience as if it was our own child we were raising,” Rooks wrote. “We shared in the highs, as well as the lows, in her life. We all took it very seriously. Not just because we were expected to, but because we loved her, and wanted to.”

Rooks said that whenever Lisa Marie returned to Graceland after Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s divorce, it felt like welcoming a family member home.

Lisa Marie Presley wearing black and standing in front of a step and repeat.
Lisa Marie Presley | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

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“Consequently, when she left for California after the divorce, it was like losing a member of our own family,” she wrote. “And, when she came back to visit, as she frequently did, it was like a family member returning home.”

Rooks said she continued to care for Lisa Marie even when she was well into adulthood.