[Heritage] Oregon groups, individual to receive national awards

Heritage Info heritage.info at state.or.us
Wed Jun 12 10:47:13 PDT 2013

            The Association for Gravestone Studies’ prestigious Oakley
Certificate of Merit will be awarded to two Oregon historic cemetery
associations and one individual during the association’s annual
conference at Willamette University on Saturday, June 22 at the annual
banquet.  Receiving the awards will be the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery,
Luper Cemetery, Inc. and Dirk Siedlecki, a commissioner on the Oregon
Commission on Historic Cemeteries and president of the Friends of
Jacksonville Cemetery.
            The Oakley Award is presented to individuals and groups
that have helped to advance the mission of the Association.  Founded in
1977, the Association for Gravestone Studies fosters the appreciation of
the cultural significance of gravestones of all periods and styles and
burying grounds through study and preservation.
            The Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery is a volunteer
organization created in Portland after a rash of vandalism at the
cemetery.  Its 2,000 members are dedicated to education, preservation
and restoration for the area’s oldest cemetery and the largest of 14
pioneer cemeteries managed by Metro regional government.  
            Luper Cemetery is an historic pioneer cemetery located in a
remote setting in Lane County.  During the past four years, volunteers
have worked to overcome its history of vandalism, degradation by weather
and extreme neglect. Faced in the fall of 2009 with 90 percent of the
headstones needing some level of restoration and no money, the Luper
group found new financial, physical and technical assistance from
Musgrove Family Mortuary, Roberts Surveying, the Oregon Commission on
Historic Cemeteries, Donovan and Associates, and dozens of individuals.
Volunteers have changed the long-neglected cemetery from a forgotten
place to a well-maintained cemetery.
            Dirk Siedlecki is serving his second term on the Oregon
Commission on Historic Cemeteries.  His activity includes organizing
informal meetings of people working with Southern Oregon historic
cemeteries to share information and gather data about the needs of the
cemeteries, training volunteers to repair grave markers and drafting the
commission’s educational bulletins and position papers.  As president of
the Friends of Jacksonville Cemetery he has helped establish procedures
and programs that have created a dedicated volunteer organization with
strong community support. 
            More information about the Association for Gravestone
Studies is available at www.gravestonestudies.org . Its 36th annual
conference takes place June 18-23 in Salem.
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