Jarrett Lunz, an Eagle Scout from Troop 38, came to the St. Marys Rotary Club on Wednesday to discuss his Eagle project involving the Benner Cemetery and its restoration.
The cemetery on state Route 116 had been put into a state of disrepair over the years by time and weather taking its toll on the property. Lunz, after taking part in a Memorial Day tradition for the Boy Scouts to put up flags for veterans there, made note of it and decided to make it the focus of his Eagle project.
“So this is really what made me want to get started on this project,” stated Lunz, showing a picture of what some of the cemetery’s gravestones looked like. He specifically noted that a relative of his had been buried out there, something that made it a personal project for him. “Because after doing some research, I figured out this was my four-times great uncle who is actually buried there.”
This prompted him to work on a nearly 200 hour project focusing on the restoration of gravestones, making sure each one was properly straightened. There was also an attempt to make sure every person buried there was accounted for during the project, especially for those with grave markers that aged the worst.
“There were broken markers just laying up against trees. You could walk around and find holes that had three or four different markers buries just in one spot,” Lunz listed as being issues when it came to some grave markers. “So I went around and dug up a bunch of those markers, as many as we can find, and if they could be set up, we would set them up.”
The process of the restoration, as well as making sure to get all of the names down was a long and arduous task, but the results started show in time. Lunz and everyone who worked with him did their best to make sure that the property was properly repaired.
To read the full story, pick up a print copy of Thursday's edition of The Evening Leader.