Some Who Came Back

I was alone walking around in St. Mary’s Cemetery looking at graves of servicemen Friday afternoon. I was looking for a specific grave, but didn’t run across it.

What I did find in just about a third of the graveyard was the final resting place of many men who served in our country’s various conflicts, then came back to rejoin their community. Look at how many bronze markers are catching the late afternoon sun. You can click on the photos to make them larger. Here are just a few of the markers and the men they represent.

An obituary in The Southeast Missourian on Sept. 30, 1980, said that Adolph C. Halter had served in the Army in Europe. He worked as a mechanic at Ford Groves Motor Company until he retired due to ill health.

James Patrick “Pat” Tlapek

James “Pat” Tlapek earned a long obit in the June 28, 2016, Missourian. It was interesting that his military past didn’t even get a mention, maybe because he had accomplished so many other things in his life.

[He] “took a small auto-parts store in Cape Girardeau and watched it grow into business that spans four states. He also contributed to the community through time and donations throughout his life. Tlapek bought Auto Tire and Parts in 1948, when it was one store in Cape Girardeau. Over the years, he expanded, opening a store in Sikeston, Missouri, then adding a parts warehouse. He sold the business to his son John Tlapek in the 1980s, but he remained involved in the company. It has grown to 49 stores in four states with more than 300 employees.”

Paul Scherer Sr.

A March 14, 2012, Missourian obituary said that Paul Scherer Sr., was born in Advance in 1920, and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. It reported that he was production manager at Davis Electric, worked as a carpenter, and was an avid gardener.

John W. Byrne

The Dec. 31, 1981, obit said that John W. Byrne came to Cape Girardeau with the Phillips Petroleum Co., and later became assistant administrator at St. Francis Medical Center. He moved to Jefferson City in 1975, and became medical services coordinator for the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Freeman E. Moyers

Freeman Eugene “Gene” Moyers, served in the Air Force during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. After he retired as a master sergeant in 1970, he worked for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He was superintendent of Trail of Tears State Park for three years.

Leon Jansen

Leon Jansen served aboard a Coast Guard patrol frigate during World War II. When he returned home, worked for Midwest Dairy. In 1959, he started B&J Refrigeration. He established Jaymac Equipment in 1963, which was one of the longest-established Carrier dealers in the country.

Merlin B. “Bud” Schloss

Merlin B. Schloss served with the Air Force in England, France and Germany from 1943 to 1946. Mr. Schloss worked as a route salesman for Locke Distributing for 25 years, then for Bluff City Beer, until he retired in 1977. He worked part-time for Bi-State Southern Oil Co. after retiring.

John W. Dean

John W. Dean, spent 18 years with the Army Nurse Corps, served in both Korea and Vietnam, and retired with the rank of major. He was director of nursing at St. Francis Medical Center for two years, then opened the Sub and Suds in 1978.

Raymond C. Seyer

I had to pause a few extra minutes in front of Ray Seyer’s stone. I didn’t have to look up his obituary. I knew him as Wife Lila’s favorite uncle. He was the consummate storyteller. I wrote at the time of his death, “You could tell when Ray was going to let loose with a good one by the way he’d get this half-grin with his lower lip pooched out just a little bit; then the crinkles would show up in the corners of his eyes. That’s a sign of a man who has laughed well and often.”

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Lila, Ray, Mother, and Aunt Rose Mary. I had the foresight to keep a video camera running while Ray was talking about growing up in Swampeast Missouri, serving in the Navy and developing a low opinion of Rush Limbaugh. You can find them at this link.

 

 

 

 

 

First Tulip of Spring Surprise

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016I posted to Facebook last night that it was going to feel strange waking up at 1618 Kingsway Drive and not having a plastic or real Easter egg waiting for me to find.

After sleeping uncharacteristically late, even by my standards, I eventually had to get the day going.

While the bacon was frying, I slipped out the car to pick up something. When I walked back to the house, this is what was waiting in the flowerbed next to the front door.

Last fall, I did a post on finding The Last Rose of Summer. I felt better seeing The First Tulip of Spring.

What’s the pink thing?

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016While I was trying to figure out how to best compose the tulip picture, I saw something pink on the right-hand side of the frame. What is that?

It was a long-lost Easter egg

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016When I got closer to it, it turned out to be a broken piece of an ancient Easter egg. No telling how long that had been hiding waiting for me to find it one last time.

Remembering Dad and Mother

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016Mother was religious about decorating the graves of relatives in tiny rural cemeteries scattered all over Cape and Stoddard counties. One of her concerns was who would remember them after she was gone.

I decided that the tulip, some cuttings from the flowering trees and bushes from the yard and the old Easter egg would show I hadn’t forgotten. I can scratch flower arranger off my list of possible vocations, but I hope the thought counts.

Lila’s Mother

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016The next stop was St. Mary’s Cemetery to mark Wife Lila’s Mother’s grave.

Ray and Rose Mary Seyer

Easter Sunday 03-27-2016Just around the corner from Lucille Perry is the stone for Lila’s Uncle and Aunt, Ray and Rose Mary Seyer. They died so recently their stone hasn’t been engraved with their death dates, and the Missouri clay hasn’t settled and been covered with grass yet.

The couple were like father and mother to Lila, I could have listened to Ray spin yarns about growing up in Swampeast Missouri. They were good folks.

Rose Mary died October 31 of last year, and Ray followed March 17, 2016. Maybe Mother’s yard will have enough flowers that I can leave more than a single tulip the next time I visit.