Windsor Premier: Town of Windsor, Marks Funeral home combine to find proper burial space for unclaimed cremains
June 1, 2017
Taking care of each other, even when the other person is a stranger — that's often what small communities do. And that's exactly what a few people in Windsor did recently to honor six individuals.
Mark Long, owner of Mark's Funeral and Cremation Service in Windsor, had the remains of six individuals in his possession — some dating back as far as 2008. He said as time continued to pass, he just knew that they didn't belong in the business' safe, but deserved a proper goodbye.
That's when he contacted the town of Windsor. He talked with Deputy Town Clerk Krystal Eucker, who agreed that something should be done to honor those lives.
"They were individuals, wards of the state, with no family around anymore, like some from the nursing home," she said. "Mark wanted to know if there was anything we could to."
Eucker talked to John Martinez, Windsor parks maintenance technician who cares for the town cemetery, Lakeview Cemetery, and he knew of a space. He said there are a few spaces in the cemetery designated for social services and similar situations, so he coordinated with Eucker and Long.
Martinez took it a step further, contacting pastor David Pederson from Bethel Lutheran Church in Windsor, who agreed to come to the burial and say a few words.
"They were all buried together, given a proper burial," Martinez said. "We wanted to give them a final resting place, and have a pastor send them off with a blessing. That was important to us – we didn't want the (remains) sitting on a shelf somewhere."
Long agreed, saying he didn't want to be disrespectful to the individuals who had passed, because some of them had been waiting so long for a final resting spot. But without anyone to claim the remains or conduct a service, he continued to hold onto the cremated remains at the funeral home.
"I couldn't have done it without Krystal and John, without the town and its help," Long said. "They really led the go on it, and it was awesome how they stepped up to help me and put it together."
Eucker said the act was one of kindness and was simply the right thing to do.
"These individuals were Windsor residents," she said. "I wanted, personally, to show some respect and dignity for these folks to have a final resting place. It was just right to do this."
Redline Laser Graphics in Milliken has also chipped in and is working on a gravestone that Martinez said he plans to install at the burial site in mid-May. The stone will show the name, date of birth and date of death for each of the six people.