Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Akron Vet Seeks Help Finding Final Resting Places of Vietnam Warriors"

Sharing this news story from the "Akron Beacon Journal" /Ohio.com.:  

"It’s been nearly a decade since Vietnam veteran Howland Davis embarked on his personal mission to find the final resting places of the 175 Summit County men who died during the war in which he served.
But nine warriors are still not located, and now the 75-year-old Akron man is asking for some help to finish his spreadsheet.
“We just feel it’s another way to honor these veterans,” Davis said.
The project was spun off from a 2008 project of the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society that resulted in a database listing all known veterans buried in Summit County. The database — which was issued on a compact disc but is not online — included some 77,000 people stretching back to the Revolutionary War.
In 2009, Davis took over maintenance of the list, adding new information as it became available. He also expanded the list to include interments at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, since so many local veterans were choosing to be buried at that Wayne County site.
But to Davis, there were some glaring holes in his database.
There are 175 names of Summit County residents killed in the Vietnam War on a memorial on the south wall of the City and County Safety Building, facing University Avenue between High Street and Broadway.
Nine of them remain blank on his spreadsheet under the column for cemeteries.
Davis said it’s possible some of these vets never had their remains recovered, or that they were cremated and scattered or held by family members.
These are the nine veterans listed on the memorial wall for whom Davis has no known final resting place:
• John Barness, death date unknown.
• Peter Bingham (or Bigham), died Aug. 28, 1966.
• John F. Brzuski, died June 13, 1968.
• Ronald M. Cantor (or Canter), died Dec. 9, 1965.
• Robert L. Collins, died Sept. 29, 1967.
• Donald Davidson Jr. (or Ronald L. Davidson), of Hudson, died Aug. 5, 1968.
• Billy C. Deweese, of Barberton, died Jan. 25, 1966.
• George T. Walker, died May 24, 1971.
• Charles E. Wilcox, died in 1970.
Davis said he’s looked for information online, including the Vietnam “Virtual Wall” and the Find-A-Grave website, but to no avail.
Anyone with information is invited to send details to info@summitogs.org with the subject line “Vietnam Veterans.”
Davis has good reason for being partial to the Vietnam vets. He served in the U.S. Army in 1967 and 1968, and was in Saigon for the military campaign famously known as the Tet Offensive.
Davis, New York City-born, ended up in Akron after the war, an unemployed engineer with a job offer from B.F. Goodrich. He also worked at General Tire and then Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. before retiring.
After a decade of researching cemetery sites, Davis is ready to put this project to bed. But he can’t rest until his list is complete, he said.
“I’m a little OCD,” he quipped, then added, “or CDO. We call it CDO so the letters are in alphabetical order.”
Paula Schleis can be reached at 330-996-3741 or pschleis@thebeaconjournal.com."