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Lewes, Delaware
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November 21, 2014     Cape Gazette
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November 21, 2014

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34 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21 - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014 NEWS Cape Gazette lii liiiii DENNIS FORNEY PHOTOS AMONG THOSE ATTENDING the Nov. 17 ceremony at the Sussex County Cemetery were (l-r) Rita Landgraf, sec- retary of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services; Adele Mears Wemlinger, director of Stockley Cen- ter; Sara Tapman, who works in the kitchen at Stockley; the Rev. Lewis Bowers, chaplain at Stockley Center; and Dana Chant, director of the Indigent Burial Program for Delaware. This is one of three cemeteries for the indigent and uniden- tified dead in Delaware - one in each county. "These people will never be forgotten from this day forward," said Bowers in his prayer "They have left this temporal world and now rest in your loving arms." A potter's field graveyard for poor, unidentified dead By Dennis Forney Hundreds of graves spread out over a quiet, woods-edged corner of the Stockley Center prop- erty southeast of Georgetown. One section of this unheralded cemetery contains the remains of people who have died while residents of the center. Since 1921, Stockley has served the needs of Delawareans with mental dis- abilities. A newer section of the grave- yard is the final resting place for poor and unidentified people who either had no families or friends, nor anyone who could afford to make arrangements for their burials elsewhere. Such cemeteries are often called pot: ter's fields, as first mentioned in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 27, verse 7. "WE'VE BEEN SEEING AS MANY AS THREE BURIALS A MONTH." - STOCKLEY CENTER DIRECTOR ADELE MEARS WEMLINGER On Nov. 17 state and Stockley officials gathered at the site to dedicate a new monument for the Sussex County Cemetery. A small crowd listened to prayer, song and words, recalling the lives and spirits of those interred in this unpretentious patch of Delmarva, bringing dignity and connection, reminding all of the fleeting nature of existence. Rita Landgraf, secretary of Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services, spoke at the brief ceremony. "This is our state's lasting commitment that these people will not be forgot- ten. Each of them is someone's son or daughter, sister or brother. It's our responsibility that these grounds remain a place of honor. This stone means that, and it is one way of bringing more love, respect and compassion into our world." The tall, unpretentious granite monument just outside the fence of the cemetery lists the names of 156 people buried there. More are added each month, referred here by people who contact other state agencies, including police and social workers. In all, the cemetery holds the graves of 162 people since it was first estab- lished in the early 1960s. Adele Mears Wemlinger, direc- tor of the Stockley Center, said the pace of burials has picked up in recent years, possibly, she speculated, due to a tough econ- omy. "We've been seeing as many as three burials a month." Continued on page 35 DOWNTOWN This gate marks the entrance to the Stockley Center section of the grave- yard. The inscription reads: Of All God's Children, These Are The Most Innocent. Before After We've installed hundreds of encapsulated systems at the Beach. Practice does make perfect! Single Family Homes Commercial Buildings Condominium Complexes SERVICES A division ofJos. 7T Hardv & Son, Inc. Founded in 1921 302-328-9457 REHOBOTH BEACH CHOCOLATES FUDGE ICE CREAM !J PRIVATE & GROUP CLASSES LOCATIONS . OFFERING J ~ in .enoooth DOGS WORKING WITH DOGS [~ in Lewes FORMING NEW THREE WEEK TRAINING: FOUNDATION TO BASIC 0BEDIENCF Call us for more information K-IO Dog Training is licensed & insured. . =,oil,,,:,- \~ "",P,~/, ':~'"~'~ ABC Certified Dog Trainer. ABC Mentor, CGC Evalualor i\ktl]a ;~r~nt~ TPU: Fherapy Dog Evaleator, Pet CPR Certified "- ~,;~i~;.~:~/ 9 ' :i: [ info@ [ 302.236.2497 Sweet ek Perfect Thursday BUY 1, GET 1 FREE: The Perfect Caramel Apple 140 REHOBOTH AVE" 302.227.3611 Open Thursday - Monday.