18 August 2009

Tombstone Tuesday -- only because of a kind student

Back in the 1990s I was teaching a class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. That was pre-PowerPoint days! I don't remember what the class topic was but it included an overhead of a letter from a cemetery I had contacted in the 1980s.

It was from Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. A lady in the class, Shirley, said that this cemetery was right by her house. As the years have passed, Shirley and her cohorts from Montana have become special friends of mine.

Fast forward to 2002 when the Federation of Genealogical Societies was to have its conference in Ontario, California. Shirley gave me an offer I could not resist -- when I arrived there she would drive me to the cemetery to visit the graves and take pictures. The graves are of a great granduncle Frederick Slaker and his family. Frederick is a brother of my great great grandmother Emma Slaker Stuart. The other sibling was Louis Slaker. The are Germans who settled in Wisconsin. Fred and Lou and their families ended up in the Los Angeles area.

More than just drive me to the cemetery, Shirley went there ahead of time, got a map, and scouted out the area where the graves are located. All this because I taught a class.

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