Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 White Chapel cemetery (a biased personal opinion piece) Previous Next
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1505
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

White Chapel Memorial Park was mentioned on another thread, and it sort of pulled my chain. I have typically thought of a visit to White Chapel as being a visit to an amazing outdoor sculpture garden. If you find your self out there (and Winter is not the recommended time to go) here are a few things to check out. Begin by noting the figures and other carvings on the monumental entrance, both on the outside and on the inside. A great place to go next is to the gleaming white (White Chapel, get it?) "Temple of Memories." Be sure and note Hester Bremer's (a rare woman architectural sculptor) large bas relief over the main door.

Then as you wander around the park observe all the sculpture and see if you can tell the difference between the commercially produced (in my opinion) Italian works and the more locally generated ones by a little known Detroit sculptor named Beaver Edwards. There are three other (at least) amazing works of art that are alone are worth the price of admission. Well, okay, so admission is free. Then worth the price of gas to drive out there. The first is Bruce Saville's "Until the Dawn", a life sized Viking funeral with a solemn O?en, replete with spear and attendant ravens, leading the procession. (Saville has another fairly local and almost equally impressive monument, that at the site of the "Battle of the Fallen Timbers" in nearby Defiance, OH) Next is (can't find his name, so I'll go with) Adolph Wolter's "Four Freedoms", an interesting WWII memorial, that being a war that did not produce nearly as many monuments (in my opinion) as did wither the proceeding WWI, and certainly not the Civil War. Finally there is the impressive (and perhaps best appreciated on a very cold, wintery day) Polar Bear Memorial, carved by Leon Hermant (Yes, the same fellow who did the carvings on and in the DIA building [check 'em out]). In case you don't remember that war, it was about . . ..... let me briefly recap. In 1919, with the Great War finally ended the United States (and I think a few other nations) decided to put an end to the recently established Bolshevik nation then known as the Soviet Union. So, we invaded it and in the process got a bunch of our young men killed. After about 10 years their bodies were repatriated and because so many of them were from Michigan, they were interred in White Chapel and the Monument was placed among them. Half of Detroit (give or take) trudged out to Troy in 1930 for the big event.

What was your question, again? eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek
application/octet-streamWhite Chapel Cemetery
White Chapel Cem (3.6 k)
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2487
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A few decades ago, I bongs my memory that there was a small scandal associated with the management of White Chapel Cemetery. Something to do with mismanagement of funds. It was in the paper for some time whenever the 'scandal' took place. Maybe 30 years back, maybe even more.
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Kid_dynamite
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Username: Kid_dynamite

Post Number: 431
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 5:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray1936, That's where Gordon Grant Sr was laid to rest. I visit him about once a year.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2490
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 5:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good to pay visits to our honored ancestors, dynamite. I've even found and visited graves of my gt gt grandparents. It's a moving event.
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 365
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting, Carptrash.

Usually when I go there it is to check on "flowers & flags" for my grandparents and aunt & uncle. Sometimes I need to ask them to level the headstone of my aunt & uncle, since they seem to be in a "swampy" area. The rest are in the mausoleum or at Woodlawn.

I'll have to look for them next time I can afford admission! :-)
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1365
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 - 9:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The "Four Freedoms Monument" at White Chapel Cemetery:

Four Freedoms

The "Polar Bear Monument", also at White Chapel:

Polar Bear Monument

The "Polar Bears" were mostly members of the US Army 339th Infantry Regiment, which was known as "Detroit's Own".
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2311
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 11:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heres an extensive photo essay of White Chapel. Wow there is a ton of stuff there, the chapel building itself is basically a museum inside.

http://www.detroitfunk.com/200 8/01/white_chapel_cemetery_pt_ 1.html

http://www.detroitfunk.com/200 8/01/white_chapel_cemetery_pt2 .html
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6491
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 11:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Mauser. That's quite the Mausoleum.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1523
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 2:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, in deed. After this spread one could almost call it a "Mauserleum!" eeeeek
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2317
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 2:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lol - I see you found the links, Carpy Diem. Cheers !

Any idea where Albert is located in that place ? I was in the area working when I stopped at White Chapel, so I was "inappropriately" dressed for hanging around inside the mausoleum for too long. Not to mention a bit soggy from trudging around the cemetery.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1525
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd start here.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi- bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=560

(looks indoors to me)
eeeeek

(Message edited by carptrash on January 09, 2008)
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2318
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did - no location given. That place is huuuge.
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 383
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 3:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Go to their office located near the gate. Ask for a map. The place is huge. And if you don't know where you are going, even bigger.

I use a map to find my aunt & uncle in the lawn and grandparents in the mausuleum.

I still get lost at Woodlawn in Detroit. I _have_ to use a map in there!
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1527
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I suspect from the picture at find-a-grave that Kahn's marker is an indoor event. Still a large area, but, smaller.
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 1172
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whenever we would drive up 75 to go up North as a kid, my friends Dad would point to White Chapel and say "See that place? People are dying to get in there!"
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2697
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 5:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A couple years back I did visit White Chapel specifically for the purpose of locating the final resting place of Albert Kahn. Fortunately someone was available to open the main Mausoleum building. I have a vague recollection of where Kahn's crypt is located, and possibly could relocate it again if I was able to visit again. I will definitely try to make it to White Chapel sometime soon as I have that little matter of Robert Oakman's final resting place there to clear up.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2319
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 5:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah I know Al is in the mausoleum, and thats what I meant when I said "huuuuge". I had soggy shoes and wasnt dressed appropriately to be hanging out chatting with staff about the facility. I'll get the tour next time, they are more than happy to show folks around.
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Waz
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Username: Waz

Post Number: 242
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 9:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your friend's Dad was quite the card, Irish.
Did he also say that people liked to live next to the cemetery because the neighbors were quiet?
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2562
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 12:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From the Find-a-grave web site:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi- bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Kahn&G Sfn=Albert&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel =all&GSst=24&GScntry=4&GSob=n& GRid=560&
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 397
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 2:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm guessing he is on the 2nd floor columbarium. That is a typical marker for there.

Waz... I once lived at an apt. in Rochester next to a cemetary, it was quiet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =8b8isnhYMjg
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Karenk
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Username: Karenk

Post Number: 57
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 4:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have explored cemeteries for many years. I have transcribed around 60,000 gravestones. There is nothing more peaceful than wandering through a cemetery. The trees, plants and some outstanding sculpture, not to mention squirrels and birds. I visit Detroit cemeteries every spring to make sure my family graves remain visible. What a mitzvah!
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 399
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 5:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Karenk probably already knows this... but in the 1800's people used to go to cemetaries to picnic and tend the graves.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2342
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 5:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"There is nothing more peaceful than wandering through a cemetery"

couldnt agree more, my friend.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1558
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 6:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, in some ways, living IN one might be more peaceful? eek
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Karl_jr
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Username: Karl_jr

Post Number: 196
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 6:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Irish, as we passed there at night my Dad would ask "do you know how many people there are dead?" Answer = All of'em.
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Adamjab19
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Username: Adamjab19

Post Number: 821
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 9:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kahn's cremated remains are in the mausoleum for sure. White chapel only allows bronze markers in the yards and most of the old facings in the mausoleum for the cremated remains are bronze. Newer niche areas are glass and the full body crypts are marble.
I will be there Saturday and see if I can't find a more exact location of Kahn's niche. I am fairly certain I have walked by it.

A few notables I have seen while walking through (I work at a funeral home down the road and we do many, many burials there) Jimmy Hoffa's wife (supposedly) is in a niche. John DeLorean is buried there. Also in the mausoleum there is a private family crypt area that has a large mosaic of the last supper.

The staff is very nice there. Go after 1pm though, before that they may be busy doing burials and all of that.

On the sign there it says "where memory lives in beauty" sometimes can be translated to "where memory floats in horror". Some sections are VERY wet!
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2727
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 10:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I went out to White Chapel on Monday afternoon. My purpose was to confirm that Robert Oakman was indeed interred there. And to look up a couple other gravesites.

The guy in the office was most helpful, especially as I was sharing info on Mr. Oakman, who is indeed interred there. I have posted that information and photos in the Oakman Blvd. thread (https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/5/122123.html?1201357914).

I also located Albert Kahn in the Great Mausoleum, on the first floor, to the right across from the stairs.

Walking around the Mausoleum to check out both the beautiful stained glass as well as the names, I also noticed the final resting place of arts patron and U.S. Minister to Denmark, Ralph Harmon Booth, the brother of George Booth, as well as that of Ernest W. Seaholm, who was a Senior Engineer who worked with Harley Earl on the first LaSalle design for Cadillac, and after whom Birmingham Seaholm High School is named.

Despite frigid temps outside, I did stop at the Polar Bear site and the "Until Dawn" sculpture for photos. Then I tracked down John DeLorean's grave which was partially covered by gifts that had been left: a bouquet of red roses, a paperback Bible, a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping bag, and a 10x13 manila envelope addressed to Mr. John Zachary DeLorean. His grave marker sports an image of a DeLorean!

Delorean


I will definitely go back when the temps are warmer, both for the art as well as tracking down a couple more gravesites.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1563
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 12:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, what was in the envelope. Or didn't you . . . . . . . .....?
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2728
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Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 1:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nope, I didn't look in the envelope or in the Saks bag either. None of my business....
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 2614
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 1:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good "trip report", Kathleen. Interesting. But then, those cemetery visits usually are.

Nice to hear that the cemetery staff was helpful. My last visit to Trinity Cemetery in Detroit had me ready to poke an arrogant staff member in the snoot because she was so unhelpful. Ah, well.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1565
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ah K, viva la difference. To me, the world is ALL my business. And visa versa, of course. eeeeeeek
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2381
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 6:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanx for the mail Kath - Ill know exactly where to go next time. As luck would have it when I ventured in to see if I could get lucky and find his marker, I veered left.
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1570
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 12:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well that's bette than leaning to the Right
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeek
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Eriedearie
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Username: Eriedearie

Post Number: 683
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 10:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My dad would say when we'd pass by White Chapel "You know they won't allow anyone that lives in Detroit to be buried in that cemetery?" and I'd say, "That's not fair, why not?" And he'd say..."Cause you have to be dead first!"
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Carptrash
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Username: Carptrash

Post Number: 1571
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Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The collection of "my dad said" here is the reason why DAD'S RULE.
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Ocmobilexec
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Username: Ocmobilexec

Post Number: 12
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 5:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I get a little sad every time I see the big White Chapel sign off of I-75... both of my grandparents are there. When my grandma died Christmas Day of 2000, we had her service in the Chapel of Memories. I received permission to play the organ for the service. What a beautiful building and service; my grandma would have been happy.
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Mauser765
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Username: Mauser765

Post Number: 2382
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Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 7:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was wet and unseasonably warm when I was there, but I drive by today on the way home from work and how stunning does that place look covered in pure white snow. The chapel and grounds are one continuous white horizon. Wish I had time to visit, but I had another job to go to.
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Goblue
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Username: Goblue

Post Number: 1022
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 9:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastdearie: Every time we drove by a cemetary my dad would comment "People are just dying to get in there!"...it was humor on the Eastside in the '50's.
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 416
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Whenever I drive by there on I-75, I wave and say hello to my 4 grandparents and aunt & uncle.

Remembering them reminds me of my childhood and happy times. Nothing wrong with that.

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