“I can only tell you what I believe down deep in my soul that memories endure, keeping special people with you always. Unknown
By, Gerry Roe
A tombstone marks a place of burial. It is also sometimes called a foot stone, a grave marker, a gravestone, a headstone, a ledger, or a monument. When my mother’s baby brother Robert Isaacs died in 1917, shortly after his birth. His burial site was marked by a Mason glass fruit jar.
I am sure that many of you have driven down the road and seen a cross or bouquets of flowers placed at the site where someone has died. Those are different than a tombstone for they mark the place of death, not the place of burial.
Today many grieving families choose cremation over burials when their loved ones die. Thus, many deceased persons do not have a tombstone to mark their final resting place. However, there are several old tombstones marking the graves of my ancestors and other family members. Their names are eroding away, and the stones are becoming difficult to read. One day it will be impossible to read them, and no one will know the name of the person buried there.
My parents, Henry David Roe and Ruby Isaacs Roe, are buried at Fir Grove Cemetery in Cottage Grove Oregon. My eldest brothers Eugene Roe, and Herman Frank Roe were cremated. Frank’s ashes have a final resting place at Willamette National Cemetery in Happy Valley, Oregon. My brother Kenneth David Roe, cremated but his ashes laid to rest in Fir Grove Cemetery. His headstone is in the row below the grave of our parents, as will be mine when I am cremated. My sister Nannie Elizabeth Roe Cross’s will be buried in the plot next to our parents.
My brothers Henry Alan Roe and William Gordon Roe both live in states other than Oregon. Henry Alan, who goes by Alan, is my youngest brother. He once owned the Capitol Monument Company in Salem Oregon. He suggested that we commission a new marker to replace the headstones that mark the graves of our parents. He suggested that the new marker include the names of our parents along with the names of all their children. I found that to be a wonderful suggestion.
I think my parents would be pleased. They would be proud to have the names of all their children preserved with theirs. I am working hard to make that happen.
Remembrance of those in past can be honored in many ways. Have you thought about how you want to honor those in your past?
UPDATE : After I published this post my sister-in-law Carol Forrand Roe emailed me the following statement. “Bill and my cremated remains will be in Western Nevada Veterans Cemetery, Fernley Nevada A beautifully maintained spot for eternity.” Carol
Carol is married to my older brother William Gordon Roe. We call him Bill.