From the “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series from Kelly Grimaldi, Historian and Director of Education and Program Development for Albany Diocesan Cemeteries.
A few years ago, 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!
George E. Clark, Jr. submitted the following story to share with us all.
“Five persons from my family are included in [this story] and are buried at St. Agnes, Menands; my Mother and Father Camilla and George Clark, two of my father’s Brothers William and Francis Clark and my Grandmother Grace Clark.
In 1943 my father and his four brothers enlisted in the US Army during World War II. They all wanted to go together, my mother had to sign for my father because I was around, and my grandmother had to sign for John because he was only 17.
Four survived the war and came home. John who volunteered for the Army Air Force was killed in action June 20, 1944 in a B17 bombing raid of Berlin. He was buried in a small German cemetery Zechlinger Huete, east of Berlin, grave one row one of the POW section, Russian soldiers filled the rest of the row.
This became East Germany and when the US Army was finally allowed in in 1947 the entire row of the cemetery was empty. I believe the Soviets took their people home for reburial and took my Uncle John’s body by mistake. All the Russian records were lost when the USSR collapsed.
My grandmother would never speak of John, she blamed herself for signing for him and allowing him to go into the service.
My Father George was awarded a Bronze Star for valor during the battle for Frankfort, he was with Patton’s third army. He also was reluctant to speak of John and I had to research the Army Air Force and his bombardment group to find our what happened to him. I believe this was the typical Irish response if a person is deceased and the loss is painful. They just did not speak of him.”
– Submitted by George E. Clark, Jr.
Do you have a story of an ancestor and/or loved one buried in one of our cemeteries that would be interesting to highlight in our “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series?
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].