Tending family graves

Clinton J. “Joe” and Mary Springsteen, Dad’s uncle and aunt, faithfully tended the graves of his parents Loyal Davis “L.D.” and Agnes Springsteen in the Gunnisonville Cemetery north of Lansing, Michigan. On Joe’s passing, the mantle of care was taken up by the next generation, including my parents, aunts and uncles: Donovan “Mick” and Helen Springsteen, Lorna Wolf, Edwin and Lois Springsteen, Madge and Durward “Dude” Pontius, and Harold “Hud” and Dorothy Springsteen.

In preparation for Memorial Day every year, they travelled to plant flowers at family graves in several cemeteries. After my cousin Rodney and I retired, we joined the expedition to care for our family’s memorials. Here are a few pictures from cemetery visits in recent years.

Dad (Ed Springsteen) at the Sheridan Cemetery, 2006
Ed, Mick, and Madge planting for Joe and Mary Springsteen, Niles Cemetery, 2007
Ed, Mick, Dude, and Hud planting for John and Mary Springsteen, Wilsey Cemetery, 2007
Ed, Madge, Mick, and Hud planting for Edwin and Loretta Case, Carson City Cemetery, 2007
Dude, Ed, Madge, Hud, and Mick planting for Aden and Verda Case Springsteen Olsen, Sheridan Cemetery, 2007
Dad watering flowers for my brother Eddie, Sheridan Cemetery, 2007
Hud, Rod, and Ed planting for L.D. and Aggie Springsteen, Gunnisonville Cemetery, 2010
Ed and Hud planting for Fred Olsen’s family, South Sidney Cemetery, 2010
Rod and Hud planting for Thomas and Amanda Green, Forest Hill Cemetery, 2010
Hud, Helen, Rod, Lorna, and Madge planting for L.D. and Aggie Springsteen, Gunnisonville Cemetery, 2011
Helen and Rod planting for Mick, Sheridan Cemetery, 2011
Helen, Rod, and Lorna at Jim and Joel Springsteen’s graves, Sheridan Cemetery, 2011
Rod, Dorothy, and Hud planting for Joe and Mary Springsteen, Niles Cemetery, 2014
Hud, Rod, and Madge planting for L.D. and Aggie Springsteen, Gunnisonville Cemetery, 2015
Dee at Dad’s marker, Sheridan Cemetery, 2017

The ranks of Dad’s generation have thinned, with only my Uncle Hud remaining of his siblings. Aunt Helen, Mom, and Aunt Dorothy still support our annual planting expeditions.

Cleaning gravestones

Sooner or later, the question of how to clean gravestones arises. Dick Eastman recently posted an article about a Good Cemeterian in the Tampa, Florida area who cleans veterans’ gravestones as a public service. Dick’s article contains a link to a Reader’s Digest article with further information about Andrew Lumish’s service to veterans’ memorials and about guidance in cleaning gravestones.