Thursday, August 22, 2013
WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla County Coroner’s Office will inter the unclaimed remains of more than 200 people at Mountain View Cemetery during a public ceremony Sept. 11.
Unclaimed remains have been something of a priority for Coroner Richard Greenwood, who said he has been working to reunite the cremated remains with families since he was elected to office in 2010. Some of the remains date back to the 1940s.
“One lady said she had been looking for her kid for 54 years,” Greenwood said.
He added that, with cooperation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in College Place and Spokane, his office has identified a dozen remains that were buried with honors at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.
Greenwood said his office’s efforts to repatriate the remains will continue, but now they’ll have a more suitable resting place.
“They’ll be in a respectable resting place instead of a shelf in a storage room,” Greenwood said.
The building where the remains will be placed was donated by the city of Walla Walla.
“They have been very easy to work with,” he said.
Other donations to provide seating and electricity have come from Wylie’s Monuments and Stoneway Electric Supply. Greenwood said the project also received a $100 donation from a woman who was able to find a lost child through the Coroner’s Office efforts.
The ceremony planned for Sept. 11 will include a handout with the names of all the unclaimed remains. Several ministers from area churches will be officiating. The event is open to the public, and will begin at 9 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery.
Luke Hegdal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8326.