Searching for the Lost Grave of Raymond Anderson, Monroe, Washington

The IOOF cemetery in Monroe, Washington, has lost my Grandfather Anderson. Raymond E. Anderson (1905-1974) was buried there in 1974. As far as we can tell from the family notes, his tombstone was paid for. But there is no tombstone and the cemetery has no record of where he was buried, only a 3×5 card that states he was buried there. We can’t find his body nor burial spot.

The spot next to his first wife, Nora Knapp Anderson, has a casket but no tombstone. It’s likely it’s Raymond Anderson, but the helpful caretaker probed with a pole to see if she could find a casket there (and did) and checked other “closed” or “unmarked but known filled” spots to see if any of them didn’t match up with her 3×5 card file, which might turn out to be my grandfather. Unfortunately, this method tells us that someone is buried there. It doesn’t tell us who. I’d hate to pay for digging up strange people just to run DNA tests to determine who is buried where and if it is my Grandfather Anderson! The cemetery lost him. Shouldn’t they bear some responsibility? So the hunt continues.

Raymond E. Anderson, Lesser, Wisconsin, circa 1916We spent hours walking every row of the small but populated cemetery, examining tombstones with dates from the early 1800s, many of them worn away to flat stones. Grandfather Ray Anderson was only buried 30 years ago. His tombstone should be easy to find.

We will contact the Masons who helped to bury him, and the undertakers, to see if they have some record of where he may lay. As for the tombstone, we don’t have a receipt in our records, so we’ll have to call around the various gravestone companies to see if anyone still has a record from 1974. They might have information on where the headstone was installed.

We have all the information on him, but it is frustrating not to be able to find his body in the cemetery.

Raymond Anderson was a long time member of the Masons and IOOF, and a union man, working as a welder in Snohomish and King Counties. He and his family lived in Sunnyside, which is now part of Marysville, Washington, in the same home for over 50 years. Hopefully someone will remember him or attended his funeral and can give us some clue as to where he might be buried in the cemetery.

It also pains the family who paid for the tombstone, only to find out that it wasn’t taken care of by the other family members. It brings up dark and sad memories of his fast and miserable death with cancer, and the heartache of his second and newly married wife trying to break the prenuptial agreement (for a couple of thousand dollars worth of nothing estate) and get money from the family, unexpectedly turning into a greedy, raging and demanding monster no one recognized. It’s a tough way to say goodbye, but now, 30 years later, new memories can be formed and now he’s gone missing!

If you have any information on where Grandfather Raymond Anderson might be buried in the IOOF cemetery in Monroe, Washington, we’d love your help.

UPDATE: 2010

raymond e anderson new tombstone monroe washingtonAfter no luck tracking down any specific information, Raymond’s daughter, Ramona, bought a new tombstone similar to her mother’s and had that one replaced with both of their names on it, as well as her married names in order to preserve the family history identification process for future family members.

The family now has a place to go to remember this former teacher from a one room school house in Taylor Rapids, Michigan, the second generation of Norwegian immigrants. He traveled from the agricultural country of Lessor, Shawano County, Wisconsin, to the wild north lumber town of Taylor Rapids, Michigan, married Nora Knapp, then made his way with the Knapp family across the United States to Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. He spent the next 50 years in a very small two room home in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in Marysville, Washington. Now he rests among beautiful trees at the IOOF cemetery in Monroe, Washington.

Consider yourself “found,” Grandfather Anderson.

We are still working hard to fill in the many blanks of our Anderson family line from Norway, including looking for another lost grandfather Anderson, Hans Anderson of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, if you can help us there.

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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One Response to Searching for the Lost Grave of Raymond Anderson, Monroe, Washington

  1. Pingback: Taylor Rapids, Wisconsin, The Town That Vanished | Family History

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