July 7th, 2020
Dear Bethany Cemetery Family,
The three of us on the Bethany Cemetery Association Board have been working very hard lately. We have spent countless hours on-site and behind the computers logging information and doing research in an attempt to re-create our missing plat book. We have been submitting information to findagrave.com as well such as plot locations and tombstone photos.
At this time, we currently have upwards of 36 people that are “missing” within the cemetery; this means we have obituaries, death certificates and/or other documentation as proof that these people are buried in Bethany but we have not been able to locate a headstone. This is extremely saddening that these people have nothing left behind to honor them.
We have been working hard to locate family of these missing people in hopes that someone can provide some sort of information regarding “where” within the cemetery they are located. We have put information on our new website (www.bethanycemetery.wordpress.com) as well as on our facebook page. On our facebook page you can find “Family Albums” which are tombstone photos organized by family name so that people can easily search them. We also have an album titled “Unknown/Missing Stones” that lists all the people we have found thus far that are supposedly laid to rest in Bethany but we do not know where exactly they are.
I was able to get a spot on the local radio station to talk about our search for the family of our missing people in hopes to bring awareness and attention to our efforts. We have also put information in the local papers and shared facebook posts to other area groups. We will continue to work towards finding a way to locate where these lost souls are buried.
Not only is it depressing knowing that these people have no stones for anyone to remember them by, but it also poses issues for the future of our cemetery. Although we have rough “ideas” of where these people are located, without knowing for sure is going to make it incredibly difficult for us to sell plots in the future; which I am sure you can understand is where most cemeteries get their money to keep things going. Since our cemetery runs purely off of our current gracious donors we know there may come a day when those donations may not come anymore. As I have mentioned before, these donations barely cover mowing expenses and without additional avenues of funding we are limited to what we can do to maintain the cemetery. So we are trying to get creative on how we can raise funds.
We would love to see new stones erected for Bethany Cemetery’s missing people but as you can guess it is very costly (around the $3,000.00 mark) so we can’t even afford to do that as much as we desperately want to. This doesn’t mean we aren’t putting this on our “to-do” list though, and I hope that one day I can see that project through.
So as you can see, we have been very busy; and with that I have one last bit of information to share with you. Carolyne (Conner) Puskas has decided to retire from the Bethany Cemetery Association Board. She has worked very hard with others to try and get this cemetery back on its feet and has decided that she would like to give someone else the opportunity to get involved in our efforts. I have also enclosed her farewell letter. If you or someone you know think may be interested in joining us in our endeavors please let me know.
We are scheduling a meeting for anyone to attend on Wednesday, August 19th from 5-6pm at the Pike County Health Department Community Conference Room (side entrance) at 1 Healthcare Place, Bowling Green, MO 63334. We are scheduling our fall clean-up day for Saturday October 3rd at 10a.m. Please remember to contact me if you get a lead on who may have our missing plat-book! Have a wonderful summer!
Lastly, I want to note that going forward I am going to try and remember to put a donation slip with all letters. I don’t want anyone to be without when and if you decide you would like to make a donation as well as having one on hand if you know someone who is willing to help us out! J As always THANK YOU to all of our donors so far this year, we couldn’t do this without you!
- Patty & Dale Dortch
- Anonymous – Repaired the Shannon Mausoleum
- Jeffrey Givens
- Gary Roberts
- Diane Shaw – In Memory of Fred & Lucy Beckner and Frances Schriever
- Edith & Michael Buchanan – In Memory of Mom & Dad, John & Bertha Boots
- Kenneth & Janice Conner
- Joy Conner
- Bess Gamm
- Sharon Love – In Memory of John Christopher Muff & Family
- Marie & Charles Moore
- Carolyne & Don Puskas – In Memory of Mary & Bill Conner
- John & Audrey Roberts
- Ronald & Ann Kooken – In Memory of Ron’s Mother, Frances Shaw
- Cheryl & Clifford Jennings – In Memory of Charles W. & Hazel Sutton Families
- Lawrence & Jana Turpin
- Wayne & Georgia Gamm
- Maurice E. Craig
- Tracy & Steve Brookshier (Created & Donated display case) – In Memory of the Burnett Family
- Sandy Corum Buchanan & Kathy Corum Orf
Tracy Brookshier, Bethany Cemetery Association Secretary
>>> Carolyne’s Farewell Letter <<<
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Dear Bethany Cemetery Association Members,
I am sad to say I have asked Tracy and Patty to look for a replacement for my position. It has been a true joy to have worked with the past officers, all the members, Gail at the Mercantile Bank, and Neil Anderson to get the Bethany Cemetery from abandoned state to where it is now. When I sent out the plea for help last fall Tracy responded immediately that she would be there for whatever I needed and her cousin, Patty was also interested.
They are doing a tremendous job of bringing so many technical avenues into the running of the Cemetery’s business, reaching so many more people, and getting our plight out there that I could have only dreamed of. They have left me in the dust and their ideas and expertise is exactly what is needed now.
So between my husband’s health issues, the Covid 19 keeping us home bound in Pennsylvania, and my lack of knowledge in technology (I joke I am ‘technically challenged’), it is time for me to step back so Tracy and Patty can replace me with someone who will be physically available and with technical expertise to help share their responsibilities.
With Tracy, Patty, and the new officer I know it can only go forward and great things will be accomplished. So now I will leave the ‘officer’ position to become a ‘member’ and will continue to give all the support and help I am able to do as a long distance member.
The best to the new officers,
Carolyne Conner Puskas