Burial Program Restarts After COVID Pause

December 15, 2020

GRCC’s Burial Initiative Program has restarted after taking a break in March due to COVID-19 restrictions. The program brings together a network of pastoral leaders and volunteers to provide a proper burial for those who die without family or resources. Sister Beth LeValley has been shepherding the GRCC program since its inception several years ago. She says all who volunteer strive to make each service special.

Thomas Cali, a 93-year-old WWII veteran, was buried on November 20, 2020 at Oatka Cemetery in Scottsville. Sister Beth says her group was told that Cali’s son lived in another state and was not able to attend. In honor of Cali’s service to his country, volunteer Joe Bianchi enlisted a local veteran’s group to help with a proper military graveside service complete with “Taps” and a 21 gun salute.

 

(Photo courtesy of Dan Cromie)


Rosa Matthews, 73, was buried on December 4, 2020 at Riverside Cemetery in Rochester. Volunteers were told she died from heart disease. Immediate family members were listed as deceased and extended family could not be located. To honor Matthews, volunteer Patricia Howard brought a rose to place on Matthew’s coffin. Sister Beth says Howard started helping with the burials after her mother died. “Her mother always took care of everybody's funeral, especially those without, so for Patricia this has been a long-term commitment in honor of her mother.”

 

(Photo courtesy of Dan Cromie)


Volunteers hope to have another opportunity to pay tribute to those who have died. In February of every year, the Burial Initiative Program holds a special service to memorialize the deceased at a local church.

The Burial Initiative Program is always in need of volunteers. To learn more please contact, Sister Beth LeValley.

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