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Grave News

July 2006

Page 16

Washington County

From the Riverside Current, June 1, 2006, and the Washington Journal, May 26, 2006: "Finding Grave of 19 year old leads retired Army man to do three years of cemetery restoration," by Mary Zielinski. Pictured is Arlen Nickolan as he kneels near the grave of Florinda Lingo, his arm on her tombstone which he restored and reset as part of his efforts to restore the Kupka Cemetery near his rural Riverside residence. Florinda's grave and others in the cemetery had vanished under decades of growth and neglect, as well as her memory until Arlen Nickolan arrived in 2005. "Having two daughters of my own, I thought it very sad that the only proof of Florinda's mortal existence, however brief, was a broken, otherwise lost and forgotten, partially buried piece of marble. Her gravesite wasn't even made a matter of record during the WPA survey." Arlen researched her life and found that she was married and had a son. He speculates that she died in childbirth. He cleaned the cemetery and has restored six gravesites so far. Arlen's late father-in-law, Gordon Denton, had a cross from St. Mary's Catholic Church erected at the eastern edge of the cemetery "as a nondenominational remembrance to all who were buried here" when the church was remodeled some years ago. Arlen would like to know more about the cemetery and its "residents" and wants to record both with the Washington County Historical Society. Arlen and his wife, Billie Lee, also a military retiree, are new members of SAPIC.



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