Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Grave memorials for great grandparents

March 27, 2007


I probably mentioned that I was in the process of getting headstones for each of the great grandparents graves this summer. This project is moving along and it looks like a go. The picture at the left is an example of the stone provided by the firm I am working with to get the job done.

For those of you that may not be aware of the history of this endeavor, here's the short story. Back in 1993 or thereabouts Maureen and I started doing some research in terms of what was available. We ended up contacting the 2 local mortuaries in Kittson County (Hughes and Collins). Neither seemed all that business like or interested in helping us get it done. We continued exploring alternatives and tried to raise a few dollars in the mean time. Since our family was in charge of the 1994 reunion at Lake Bronson, we decided to use any proceeds we had after expenses to go toward those headstones. FYI, we started with a balance of zero as we accepted the responsibility of hosting that year's reunion. So, we didn't raid any existing pot of money in the process. I would be remiss if I didn't mention we also got a contribution from descendants of Sam Wilebski's family (Kathy Schafer).

Although we continued talking with the 2 mortuaries through about 2001, we finally decided to put the project on hold. At that time, we gave the limited funds we had raised to the Jerome Family who agreed to host the 2003 reunion for seed money.

While time passed, we continued to think about proceeding with the project. As fate would have it, our delay has probably worked in our favor. Initially, we had envisioned a brass plaque with a narrative on each of the graves. Now however, the technology such as laser engraving, allows us many more alternatives.

It is our intent now to install a headstone much like the one above at each grave site with a laser etched copy of the Frank & Antonia (Januczek) family picture. We believe the photo will be approximately 12 by 12 (inches). In addition to the picture we will put on the birth and death dates and perhaps some verbiage on the base to the effect "Pioneer, Husband, Father". On Grandma's grave of course would be "Pioneer, Wife, Mother".

Some of you had asked about the grave sites. Well, Grandpa Frank is buried at Kroze, North of Lancaster. A wooden cross marks his grave and is near the front of the cemetery. Grandma Antonia however is buried in the Florian cemetery. It is not clear why the were buried at separate locations. However, Antonia died in Warren, perhaps when she was visiting or staying with some of her children in the area. So while we do not have an answer to this mystery of the separate burial locations, it does necessitate the installation of 2 headstones.

Anyway, I hope this gives you all a little more information about the grave memorial project. The estimate provided by Stennes Granite comes to just under $4,200 at this point. I have decided to pay for them initially to get it done finally. And, if the family wishes to help defer the cost or reimburse me, that would be fine too. I already have almost an extra hundred dollars as a result of the contributions for "flowers from the cousins" at Aunt Ella's funeral. Thanks to all of you that donated to the cause.

If you have any other questions, suggestions, or comments, let me know. In fact, responding to this blog would be the best so that others that want to stay in the loop on this project can see what has been decided or other changes.


If you are interested in seeing some of the other memorials available, you can go to the following link. According to cousin Phyllis and the sales person, the black marble above appears to be the best choice for laser etching.


Grandpa Jerome said...

Well shit Fred,
When the Jerome Family hosted the reunion, we gave the next group in excess of $1,800, which I believe $1,000 was ear marked for this reason or am I wrong?

Anyway, I think some of the overage in the reunion fund can go toward these headstones, at least $1,000. or more.

The next reunion, up north I hear, should be a huge fund rasier if we have to raise this money.

You shouldn't be stuck with this expense, lets get someone to make some quilts or something.

Another idea would be to buy quilts from the Lutheran Church women in Lancaster and raffle them off or auction them off, you'd be amazed what they would bring.

Anyway, you shouldn't be suck with all the expense even if you do have the most money.

Your Loving Cousin,

Grandpa Jerome

Carrie said...

I agree -

we could totally fundraise for this!

Also - would it say (or is it a dumb idea) - for on great(great) grandpa's to say where Antonia is buried - and on great(great) grandma's to say where Frank is buried?

(Little)Cousin Carrie

Fred from the far North said...

I appreciate the comments about fundraising for the headstones. And, I'm sure Peggy and Joey will have some input, if not funds to contribute. Yeah, it would be great to get reimbursed, but for now I'd like to get them ordered and in place this summer. Perhaps we can do one more for Grandma? Just a thought.

Carrie, I too have been thinking about the stuff to put on the headstones. The idea of telling visitors the location of the other grandparent is certainly one of them. Great minds must think alike. I had also thought of putting that narrative on the stone which tracks their migration from Poland, to the Port of Baltimore, to Lasalle, Illinois, to Wilno, Minnesota, and eventually to Kittson County. But, am leaning toward a more complete history placed in Lake Bronson and possibly in Marshall County.

I'm not ruling it out, but it may get too messy. And of course I'll listen to what the sales person has to say also.

But, if anyone else has comments or suggestions, now would be the time to forward them to me.