From the “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series from Kelly Grimaldi, Historian and Director of Education and Program Development for Albany Diocesan Cemeteries.
In 2019, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries launched “Stories of our Dearly Departed”, a series featuring stories and photographs of those who are buried within our 19 upstate NY cemeteries.
Our hope is that people will enjoy reading about the lives of our community members just as much as we enjoy learning about them from the families we serve and in the information we find throughout our archives. There are so many fascinating stories buried within these Sacred Grounds!
This was a story that was submitted back in 2017, two years before our “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series began. As part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of Sts. Cyril and Method Cemetery, we asked for stories and/or photos from the community of loved ones interred in the cemetery. We recently came across this story shared during the Anniversary celebration and hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did.
“My summer job from 1964-66 was working for superintendent John Gadus at [Sts. Cyril & Method] Cemetery. It was my first job & my favorite job. Although all we did was mow the grass, pick weeds from around the stones, and gab with the gravedigger (Bob Loehr), it nonetheless seemed like the deal of a lifetime. John Gadus was quite the character. He rode his bicycle from his home on 6th Ave. to the cemetery. He felt the need to impart much of his wisdom to us high school kids. He was proud of serving in WWII, and made you feel at home, and made certain that you came away with and understanding and appreciation of your Slovak heritage.
On Fridays, the work venue switched to the church where we mopped floors and cleaned other areas. If he felt you did your fair share of work, you got a soft drink from the bar area of the bowling alley that was underneath the parish hall. And at seasons end, you got to bowl 1 game, with John acting as pin boy. John lived his faith… and taught us to serve; not to be served.
Whatever you thought about your time spent working with John, it was assured it was an experience you would never forget.
How fitting it is that John is buried in a place he loved, [Sts. Cyril and Method] Cemetery, one of the first graves on the right at the main entrance.” -K.M.
Do you have a story of an ancestor and/or loved one buried in one of our cemeteries that would be interesting to research and or highlight?
We are looking for stories of those buried within the following 19 cemeteries:
St. Agnes, Menands • Most Holy Redeemer, Niskayuna • St. Anthony’s, Glenville • Our Lady of Angels, Colonie • Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick’s in Watervliet • Our Lady Help of Christians and Calvary in Glenmont • St. Agnes, Cohoes • St. Patrick’s, Coeymans • St. Jean de Baptiste, St. John’s, and St. Mary’s in Troy • Sts. Cyril & Method and Holy Cross in Rotterdam • St. Joseph’s, Waterford • St. John the Baptist and St. Mary’s in Schenectady • St. Mary’s, Coxsackie
If you have a story for us, contact Kelly at 518-350-7679 or [email protected].