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Tolt Church installs memorial marker
A two-ton rock briefly hung over the offices of Tolt
Congregational United Church of Christ in
Carnation on Tuesday, May 23, as a crane maneuvered it into place in the
church's memorial garden.
"It all started with a need to weed," said Pastor Jeff Spencer.
"Jane [Loudenback] wondered if she could clean up the courtyards in our
building and we got to chatting. I shared an idea I had for several years _ putting
a memorial marker in one of the gardens."
Spencer explained that when a family scatters the ashes of a loved
one who has died, there is no gravestone, "no place where that person's
name remains to help us remember."
Loudenback latched on to the idea and volunteered to purchase the
stone. Loudenback's parents, Grace and Harry Popkema, were cremated
and their ashes were scattered in the woods behind the family home.
"Dad loved to walk back there after he sold the dairy farm," she
said. "Now there will be a place with their names." The Popkemas were
active members of Tolt Church.
Thanks to the efforts of church members Doug Cole,
Bob Hazelbrook, Bob Patterson and several others, the stone is now
installed and ready for families to place memorial bronze plaques in
remembrance of their loved ones. The first two
placards will bear the names of Harry and Grace Popkema.
"We still don't have the policy all figured out," Spencer said. "It is
for people who are part of the church family; that much we know. But
we haven't figured out costs, sizes of plaques, how to make it available
to families with limited incomes _ you know, the details."
The stone was dedicated on Sunday, May 28.