Frankie Yankovic: America’s Polka King

It’s no secret that Cleveland is home to a happening polka scene. Whether you’re at the Happy Dog café on polka night, or at your own neighborhood pub—polka music is a huge part of Cleveland culture. Several notable polka figures got their start in Cleveland, but most notable of all is Frankie Yankovic. Whether you’re familiar with the Polka King or not, keep reading to learn about this legendary Cleveland figure.

 

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Frankie Yankovic

 

Frankie Yankovic was born on July 28, 1915. Born in West Virginia, Yankovic’s parents were both Slovene immigrants, who met at a lumber camp. Yankovic’s father moved the family to Cleveland after experiencing some troubles with the local authorities. Frankie was still rather young at the time of the move, but this didn’t stop him from discovering a world that would eventually lead to his amazing fame.

Upon moving to Cleveland, Yankovic was introduced to brass bands; his main exposure happened to be during Slovenian festivals and social events. At the time, his mother had started to rent out rooms in their home to make some extra money. One of these tenants happened to be Max Zelodec who was a Slovenian performer. Yankovic had previously obtained an accordion, and Zelodec was able to give Yankovic a few lessons before moving out.

By the time Yankovic reached his teenage years in the 1920’s his talent was earning him money by playing at community events and social functions. Just ten years later in the 1930’s, Yankovic branched out into the radio industry, making appearances on a variety of networks such as WJAY and WGAR. Despite his rising popularity, Yankovic still had a hard time signing a record deal. In fact, Yankovic paid for his first few records out of pocket!

Yankovic married in 1940. It wasn’t long before the couple started having children, and with that came a tighter budget. Yankovic’s music was no longer able to support his growing family, and so he opened a tavern called the Yankovic Bar. It was very popular among musicians, and Yankovic wouldn’t sell it until 1948 when he would resurge his career on the accordion.

Many people don’t know that Yankovic enlisted in 1943 to assist in the war effort, all while producing albums! Fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Yankovic got a severe case of frostbite that almost resulted in him losing his hands and feet—luckily that didn’t happen and he made a full recovery and was then assigned to entertain the armed forces. One audience even included General George Patton and his army!

In 1947 Yankovic finally started to gain some national attention. By 1949 he earned two platinum singles— “Just Because” and “Skirt Waltz.” Success followed Yankovic after that, and he would earn the title “America’s Polka King” after defeating Louis Bashell, Romy Gosz, Harold Loeffelmacher, and the Six Fat Dutchmen, Whoopee John Wilfahrt, and Lawrence Duchow in a Battle of the Bands in 1948.

 

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One of Yankovic’s albums

 

Yankovic would win his Grammy award for his album “70 Years of Hits” in 1986, and he was the first artist to win an award in the Polka category. Yankovic would later partner with Weird Al Yankovic—while the two are not related, both obtained large amounts of success and fame through their polka style music.

Frankie Yankovic passed away on October 14, 1998 due to heart failure. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, in Cleveland Ohio. (Section 114, Lot 507, Grave 9). Having sold 30 million records throughout his life, Yankovic is still the best known polka artist in the country. What a legacy to leave!

Information gathered from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Yankovic
Post written by Katie Karpinski

3 things men should know about grieving

Grief is much like a natural disaster—it’s unpredictable and doesn’t discriminate. It effects men and women, young and old, rich and poor. The only aspect of grief that can be controlled is how it’s handled by the individual, and that’s where some differences can occur.
While society may be trending towards more accepting gender standards, men are still faced with the constant assumption that “big boys don’t cry.” While this philosophy may work well during a sports game, it shouldn’t be accepted in all facets of life—particularity in regards to grieving. Men have the natural tendency to downplay uncomfortable feelings, expecting the feelings to just go away if ignored long enough. In other cases, men may acknowledge the negative feeling, but still not partake in proper coping mechanisms. Instead of experiencing grief, they try to speed the process which is exactly what NOT to do when grieving. We all need some guidance when it comes to grieving– men might need a little extra. Take a look at these 3 things men should know about grieving. Whether it’s you or someone you know, these tips will assist in a healthy grieving process and hopefully bring some comfort.

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1. Grieving is a process

Men are notorious for finding quick solutions. They are fixers, it’s what they do. To have something broken for too long makes them anxious, which is why grieving can be so difficult for some. When you lose a loved one, part of your heart breaks. Unlike home repair projects, this damage can’t be fixed with super glue or a call to a repairman. It takes time. Grieving is process that requires patience, both with yourself and those around you. It’s important to slow down and understand that you cannot fix this alone, and it won’t mend overnight.

2. It’s okay to not have it “together”

Whether you’re a father, husband, brother, uncle, or even just a close friend, men are often seen as the primary defenders and providers for their family and friends. They are born into leadership roles, and because of this they have people depending on them constantly. This certainly places pressure on men who are trying to be everything to everyone. While grieving, life can become hectic and confusing. Even more so, the emotional and physical turmoil one experiences can be disorienting in themselves. You may feel bad if you can’t be that provider all the time, but do not feel guilty. Instead, embrace your humanity and learn to rely on others as they have always relied on you. Also, don’t forget to rely on God who will never forsake you.

3. It’s okay to cry

Men are taught at a young age that crying is not acceptable. This is mainly attributed to the connection of crying with weakness. However, crying is a sign of strength and courage. Tearing down those emotional barriers and unapologetically expressing your feelings is a brave thing to do. Even more so, crying can be extremely helpful in the grieving process. Crying releases endorphins which can elevate your mood and energy. Crying is also a healthy way to express sadness, anger, or loss—so why keep it in?

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski
Information gathered from “Handling Grief as a Man” by Bob Miller.

William Foster: Medal of Honor Recipient

American culture has always been drawn toward superheroes, just look at the recent movie releases. With all this hero hype, we sometimes forget that heroes aren’t just supernatural fictional characters, but very real people with very real stories. One such hero is William Foster, a U.S. Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Okinawa. Keep reading to learn more about Foster and his heroic actions.

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William Foster, Private 1st Class, United States Marine Corp.

 

Born on February 17th 1915 in Garfield Heights, OH, Foster attended a vocational high school where he majored in machinist’s subjects. Shortly after graduating, he was employed as a shaper at Cleveland’s Star Machine and Tool Company. He was also a member of the Ohio National Guard for six years before being enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve through the selective service program in April 1944.
After receiving basic training in San Diego and intensive combat training at Camp Pendleton, Foster was sent overseas to the Russell Islands where he rejoined his usual unit (Company K, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines, 1st Marines Division). From there, Foster would find himself placed in one of the most legendary battles of WWII. On April 1st, 1945 (which happened to be Foster’s first anniversary of enlistment in the Marine Corps and Easter Sunday) Foster’s unit landed on the island of Okinawa, while the infamous battle was occurring. It was there that Foster would perform the act that would later earn him a Medal of Honor.
Foster and another marine were in the midst of an intense hand grenade duel with Japanese combats. Fighting from foxholes, an enemy grenade landed in Foster’s and fellow marines foxhole, and wasn’t within timely reach. Without any regard for his own safety, Foster leapt on the grenade, absorbing the full blow and saving his fellow solider. While Foster survived the initial impact, he passed away shortly after from wounds afflicted by the blast.
About a year later, on August 19th, 1946 the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Alexander A Vandegrift presented Foster’s parents with the Medal of Honor at Cleveland’s City Hall. Foster was originally buried at the 1st Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa. However, in 1949 his remains were recovered and re interred in Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, OH (Section 60, Lot 53, Grave 2) next to fellow Medal of Honor recipient John R Towle. (Read more about Towle here)
Being only 30 years old at the time of his death, Foster’s legacy lives on. One can see his name around the city of Garfield Heights, and a branch of the Garfield Heights public school system carries his name sake. It’s important to remember fallen heroes such as Foster, who gave everything for their country.

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski
Information gathered from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Foster

Joseph Haworth: Early American Actor

America is enamored with celebrities. We read magazines to keep up with their lives, follow them on Facebook, and buy products that they endorse. However, things weren’t always this way. Back in the early 1800’s, theater was considered “unholy” and was seen as a rather scandalous business. Being an actor didn’t come with the praise and frills that we see today, making it hard for thespians to make a living in the industry. However, as the 1850’s approached and plays like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, a play which supported Christian abolitionist teaching, the theater began to regain some of its lost reputation. This slight rise in theatrical popularity was exactly what a young Joseph Haworth needed to make his first leap into the theater industry.
Born in 1855 to Benjamin and Martha Haworth, Joseph was the oldest of the five Haworth children. By 1865, the family experienced several dramatic changes. The Civil War ended; however, Benjamin Haworth, a surveyor for the Union Army, did not live to see this new era as he died in a Confederate prison camp shortly before the cease-fire. For young Joseph, this resulted in him leaving school to provide for his family. The family moved to Cleveland, OH, where Joseph found a job working in a newspaper office. While Joseph was thankful for the position, his true passion was the theater.

 

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Portrait of Joseph Haworth;  Photo Credit

 

Earlier in 1865, Joseph saw his very first theatrical performance, “The Count of Monte Cristo.” This experience instantly captivated Joseph, and when he moved to Cleveland he pursued several different acting opportunities. Being so young and having minimal experience, he was turned down time and time again. Haworth didn’t let his denial squelch his love of entertaining though. After a day’s work at the newspaper office, Haworth was often invited to neighbors’ homes to tell interesting stories and perform short skits. He gained local recognition as an amateur entertainer. These visits paid off, as when Haworth was 18 years old he was finally offered a position at the Academy of Music in Cleveland, which was one of the most respected theater companies in the nation at the time. The gig was minor; Haworth was only to recite a few pieces of poetry. But these few poetry readings were enough to land Haworth favorable reviews in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and soon Haworth worked his way up to acting with several well-known stars at the time such as Fanny Januschek, Anna Dickinson, Lawrence Barrett, and Edwin Booth.

On May 10th, 1878 at just 22 years old, Haworth played the title role in “Hamlet”. His performance was praised by the Plain Dealer which said, “No young actor could have felt more pride in the appreciation of his abilities and merits than Joseph S. Haworth last evening.” Shortly after this newsworthy performance, Haworth decided to leave the Academy (now called the Euclid Avenue Opera House) and joined the Boston Museum Acting Company, which was known the be the finest acting company in the country. Haworth had a growing national presence by the time he moved to Boston, and his time there was one of great growth. He continued to land significant roles and his popularity steadily grew. Eventually, he was the offered the position as Lead Actor, but turned it down to pursue opportunities in New York City.

 

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Playbill from one of Haworth’s roles as supporting actor; Photo Credit 

 

While in New York, Haworth met John McCullough; a well-known actor and future mentor for Haworth. The two became like father and son, McCullough always insisting that Haworth pursue artistic passions instead of commercial gains. The two acted in several productions together before McCullough passed away in 1884. Even before McCullough’s passing, Haworth had landed several solo roles, and his name appeared often in the New York Times. With his raising star power, and loss of his very close mentor, Haworth decided to move back to Cleveland to recoup in 1895. He didn’t reenter the theater scene until 1896 when he moved around the country in a series of Shakespearean plays. Towards the end of 1886, Haworth opened at the New York Grand Opera House in a performance of “Hoodman Blind.” As if Haworth wasn’t already famous, this performance heightened his fame even more, making him one of the hottest young stars in the country.

With the emergence of Broadway in the 1900’s, Haworth would continue to act for a few years before dying of congestive heart failure on April 30th, 1903. It’s speculated that this heart failure was brought on by over-exertion, something that is all too common among entertainers. Haworth is buried at St. John Cemetery, in Cleveland, OH. (Section 11, Level 3, Lot 1 PT 5)

Post written by Katie Karpinski

3 common behaviors you may experience while grieving

Grieving is a very difficult and personal process. It varies greatly from person to person, scenario to scenario. The way people handle grief is truly specific to the individual; however, there are some common behaviors and symptoms that you may experience while grieving. Understanding these behaviors can help you and those you care about handle grief in a healthy way. Not only that, but knowing that certain behaviors are common can help combat feelings of isolation or loneliness that often emerge after the loss of a loved one. Keep reading to learn more about 3 common behaviors you may experience while grieving.

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1. Change in lifestyle patterns

After the loss of a loved one, it is normal to experience some changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Perhaps, when you try to lie down and go to bed you are greeted with anxious thoughts, or when it’s time for dinner you don’t seem to have an appetite. Whatever the case may be, it is completely normal to have these patterns disrupted. If these symptoms begin to seriously affect your life, counseling or a visit to your doctor can be helpful. However, in most cases these disruptions go away with time.

2. Forgetfulness or Confusion

When you lose someone, you are forced to accept a new reality. This adjustment can be difficult, and can cause confusion or forgetfulness. You are living in a different world, one that you have no experience navigating yet. Be patient with yourself, and give yourself time to readjust. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to friends and family for additional support. Remember that this period of confusion is temporary, and will lessen with time.

3. Physical Responses

Grief is believed by many to be an emotional pain; however, grief can also cause some physical reactions. For example, a tightness in the chest and throat, low energy and weakness, dry mouth, restlessness, and sensitivity to noise and light are all common physical symptoms of grief. These effects may be frustrating at times, and cause you to feel detached or even ill, but just remember these are all temporary conditions. Go easy on yourself and listen to what your body tells you. Just as you need time to mentally and emotionally adjust, your body needs some time to heal as well.

 

 

Information gathered from What’s Really “Normal” When You’re Grieving by Robert Zucker.
Copyright Abby Press, St. Meinrad, Indiana 2004
Post written by Katie Karpinski

 

George Voinovich: A faith-filled political career

Cleveland-pride has been at an all-time high lately. With our excelling athletic teams, quality music halls, and growing cultural scene– we Clevelanders have plenty to celebrate! However, we often forget the leaders that helped Cleveland rediscover itself and emerge as the thriving city that it is today. George Voinovich, who served as mayor, governor, and senator was one of the most impactful leaders in Cleveland history. Keep reading to learn more about Voinovich and how his time as mayor changed Cleveland history forever.

 

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Senator George Voinovich

 

Born on July 15, 1936 in Cleveland, Voinovich was the oldest of six children. His father, George Voinovich, and mother, Josephine Voinovich, raised their children in the Collinwood neighborhood. A devout Catholic family, Voinovich was a member of Holy Cross parish in Euclid, OH (now called Our Lady of the Lake) where he remained to be a lifelong member. Graduating from Collinwood High School in 1954, Voinovich continued his education by attending Ohio University where he earned his degree in Government. In 1961, Voinovich received his law degree from The Ohio State University. After receiving his law degree, it didn’t take Voinovich long to begin his 46-year tenure as a public servant.

Take a deep breath and get ready for this packed resume:
Starting in 1963, Voinovich served as Assistant Attorney General of Ohio; 1967 he served in the Ohio House of Representatives; 1976 he served as County Auditor of Cuyahoga County; 1978 he was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. All are quite notable achievements, but Voinovich was merely beginning his career. In 1979 Voinovich was elected as the 54th Mayor of Cleveland, a position that would launch Voinovich’s leadership to new heights.

Voinovich’s appointment as mayor occurred just as Cleveland had reached its lowest point in years (i.e. the burning Cuyahoga river). Cleveland was often compared to Detroit and mocked for being the only major city at the time to file for bankruptcy. Needless to say—Voinovich had his hands full! Now, while Voinovich was considered a very shy and reserved politician, he fought this negative view of Cleveland with vigor, going to great lengths and spending time strategizing how to reposition Cleveland as an evolving city. Voinovich worked closely with local business owners, Cleveland citizens, as well as the Governor of Ohio at the time, James Rhodes, to spark what would later be called the “Urban Renaissance.” Numerous buildings and new businesses sprouted up, city debt was reduced, and public satisfaction sky-rocketed. All of this resulted in numerous nominations and awards for Cleveland, ranging from small neighborhood acknowledgements to national awards such as the National Civic League’s All-American City Award (won by Cleveland three years in a row.) Voinovich was credited for much of this improvement, so it came as no surprise when he was nominated for Governor in 1990.

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Senator George Voinovich looks over items on display from the Voinovich collection along with family members after the dedication of the George V. Voinovich Seminar Room and senatorial papers collection on Saturday morning, October 1, 2011 on the fifth floor of Alden Library. (Photo by Patrick Traylor/Ohio University Libraries)

After winning his seat as governor of Ohio in 1990, Voinovich was able to take the momentum he gained in Cleveland and applied it to the state of Ohio as a whole. During his time as governor, unemployment fell to a 25-year low, and a 1.5 billion state-wide deficit was recovered. Voinovich served two terms as governor, resulting in Ohio (much like Cleveland previously) to be granted several awards and recognitions. Due to term limits, Voinovich ended his time as governor in 1998, when he turned his attention to running for an open U. S. Senate position.

Needless to say, Voinovich had the experience and approval ratings to make his election to a Senate seat rather smooth. His first term began in 1999 and when it became time for him to run for reelection in 2004, he defeated his opponent by a landslide, winning all 88 counties in Ohio and breaking the record for the highest amount of votes in U.S Senate race in Ohio at 3.5 million. During his time as a U.S. Senator, Voinovich served on countless committees, and helped passed legislation on various topics regarding national security, climate change, healthcare, and national budgeting.

 

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Voinovich introducing President George W. Bush during one of Bush’s presidential campaign rallies. 

 

FUN FACT: Voinovich is one of only two people to have served as the Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and a United States Senator. The other is Frank Lausche. Both men were devout Catholics and are buried in the Cleveland Catholic cemeteries. Read about Frank Lausche here.

Many applaud Voinovich for his selfless political nature, as he always put the needs of voters above his own political intentions. Instead of following a political party, Voinovich was considered rather moderate, and was documented working with both Democrats and Republicans in an effort to do what was best for the American people, progressing the country as a whole. After retiring from the Senate in 2010, Voinovich took time to spend with his family. On June 12th, 2016 Voinovich passed away in his sleep, and he was buried at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon, OH after family and friends celebrated Mass at his home parish, Our Lady of the Lake in Euclid. Several notable figures attended the funeral, including Senator Rob Portman, Mayor Frank Jackson, and U.S. Representative Tim Ryan.

Voinovich is a special example of someone who was able to not only balance his career and his faith, but was able to incorporate his faith into his career. His strong passion for making this country a better place was constantly guided by his moral principles founded upon his Catholic faith. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind!

 

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Visit Senator Voinovich’s Grave here

 

Meaningful Music: ALIVE AGAIN by Matt Maher

It’s no secret that music has the ability to change and affect our mood. Whether it’s listening to a happy song to raise your spirits or playing a sentimental song to remember someone, the power of music in undeniable. Even more so, the type of music we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact. As followers of Christ, living in the world we do, we have the amazing opportunity to surround ourselves with music praising and worshiping God. Not only that, but there are literally THOUSANDS of Christian artists and bands just waiting to be discovered. If only there was a way to learn more about Christian music…

Wait—there is!
The Catholic Cemeteries Association will feature Christian songs on our blog with our new segment: Meaningful Music. Keep reading for this week’s song!

Alive Again- Matt Maher

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Photo Credit

 

Matt Maher has been in the Christian music industry for nearly a decade. His uplifting and praise-filled songs reflect the joy of Christ’s love while still maintaining a healthy reverence, and his mixture of more classic and conservative songs with ones that reflect modern music trends make him popular across a wide variety of people. One of his most popular songs, Alive Again, is a true testimony to life-giving power Christ has—let’s take a closer look at some of the lyrics:

The song starts with Maher singing:

I woke up in darkness surrounded by silence
Oh where, where have I gone?
I woke to reality losing its grip on me
Oh where, where have I gone?

Maher reflects something all of us have felt at some point in our lives—lost, distant, alone. We are surrounded, in many ways, by a very secular culture. Because of this, it’s easy to lose ourselves to things other than Christ and Maher isn’t afraid to address this symbolic spiritual death. “Where have I gone?” is repeated, highlighting the desperation and confusion that we experience when our relationship with Christ is broken. However, Maher doesn’t hover on this too long before bringing up the healing power of Christ by saying;

‘Cause I can see the light before I see the sunrise

You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

Maher is able to communicate so much in these 9 lines. First, Maher reminds us that before we can “see the sun rise” we must first “see the light.” In other words, when we find ourselves in darkness, we must turn to Christ first, who is the eternal light of the world, before we can hope to pull ourselves out of the darkness of sin. Christ alone can help us break free from whatever is taking us away from God. As the chorus continues, Maher outlines how Christ continues to fight against the walls we put up between ourselves and God. He depicts Christ as a warrior of sorts, constantly fighting to free us and make us all “alive again.”

If you have time, listen to the full song. It is packed with the uplifting knowledge that Christ will not abandon us, even in our darkest times, and reminds us that Christ is here to fight for us and give us the chance of eternal life.

 

To listen to the full song, click the link below!

 

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

5 ways to comfort someone who is grieving

Grieving is an extremely painful and difficult process. The death of a loved one can turn the world upside down, leaving people emotionally upset, confused, and exhausted. As Catholics, we are called to comfort the grieving, which is no simple task. Comforting people can be a challenging experience, and calls for much strength and divine grace. There are some guidelines that can help you through the consoling process. Keep reading to learn about 5 ways to comfort someone who is grieving.

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1. Be perceptive

We have all experienced grief in some form. It’s easy, when comforting someone who is grieving, to compare or draw on our own experiences in an effort to empathize. However, it’s important that you remember each person is different in the way they grieve, for how long, etc. People feel grief in different ways. Coping methods that worked for you may not work for others—do not get upset or impatient if someone doesn’t grieve the same way you do. Meet them where they are and try to understand them the best you can.

2. Be genuine (avoid vague assurances and common clichés)

It’s a natural tendency to try and comfort someone who’s grieving by saying “I’m sure they are in a better place now” or “everything happens for a reason.” While these statements may be true, they aren’t very helpful to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. Instead, speak the facts. Let them know that yes– grieving is a painful experience, but you will be with them every step of the way. Also, be as specific as possible when talking about someone who has passed away. Instead of saying “We will all miss Jane” or “Bob touched so many lives” talk about a specific memory you had with the person, or elaborate on how they impacted your life specifically.

3. Be present

After the loss of a loved one, life can become overwhelming. There are so many final arrangements to take care of, not to mention managing family, work, and other personal obligations. People who experience the loss of a loved one may need help and not even realize it, or might not know how to ask. Some common areas that people need additional help with include meal preparation, shopping for toiletries and other necessities, financial advice (perhaps a referral to a trusted financial advisor), yard work, transportation, etc. Instead of asking someone if they “need help”, offer to do one of these tasks specifically. It’s important to remember, however, the fine line between helping someone and being in the way. Some people may prefer to handle things on their own, or they might just want to keep their home private. In this case, dropping off a care package on their front door is a nice gesture, letting the person know you care without imposing on their grieving process. Also- never forget the power behind a quick phone call or handwritten note to let the person know they are in your thoughts and prayers.

 

4. Be a good listener

The truth is, most people are in the habit of ignoring or hiding sadness and other unhappy emotions. However, it’s important that people express their grief and sadness in order to move on in a healthy way. Therefore, do not try to “fix” someone, or distract them from their grief. Instead, listen. Listen to their favorite story about their loved one, even if they tell the same story over and over again. Encourage them to talk about their loved one, including saying the loved one’s name out loud. This can help keep the memory of the deceased alive, and lets the person grieving know that you are comfortable talking about the death. Acknowledging the deceased and the life they lived is much healthier than trying to distract the person and forcing them to move on too quickly.

 

5. Be smart

It’s important to be understanding and patient with someone who is grieving. They may do or say confusing or even hurtful things. It’s important to remember the different stages of grief, and that people handle those stages differently. However, if you notice that the individual is turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive medication, self-harm, uncontrolled rage or depression, or complete denial of the death— it’s time to reach out for professional help (listed below). In less severe cases, you can also reach out to close family or your local clergy for additional help. There is no shame or failure in turning for more help, it simply means you are wise enough to understand what you are able to handle and what should be brought to someone else’s attention.

 

Emergency numbers and organizations
United Way: dial 211
Catholic Charities: 216-334-2978
Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255
Addiction Services: 877-896-5143

FOR ALL IMMEDIATE EMERGENCIES DIAL 911  

 

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

 

 

John R. Towle: A young hero

Our country is lucky enough to have thousands of people volunteer and risk their lives every day, putting the priority of the country above their own. As a country, we have witnessed two World Wars, and countless other battles and conflicts. With thousands of films, TV shows, and books about these wars, and the people that fought in them, sometimes we forget that each one of those people had a life before their military service. Even more so, we forget that so many young people have lost their lives serving their country.

John R. Towle was born in Cleveland on October 19th, 1924. Growing up on E.73rd street, Towle attended St. Agnes school in his younger years. In 1943 Towle decided to enlist in the United States Military as a member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He served in a variety of countries during his service, including South Africa and Italy. However, Towle was in the Netherlands when he would perform the act that would later earn him a Medal of Honor.

 

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John R. Towle’s official military picture;  Photo Credit

 

 

 

It’s September 21st, 1944. Towle is now 19 years old and he and his division were serving in Oosterhout, Holland. US forces were in the process of claiming the strategic position at the Nijmegen bridgehead, which was currently occupied by German forces. With a strong enemy force, and limited defensive options, Towle decided to leave the safety of his foxhole and confront the enemy head on. Using his rocket launcher, Towle was able to hit two enemy tanks, and prevent them from advancing further. Towle then proceeded to enter a nearby house which 9 Germans had been using as a strategic point and continued to secure the building with no additional help.
Upon exiting the house, Towle retreated to another position to take another shot at the enemy tanks, where he was fatally struck by a mortar shell. Towle’s actions were nothing short of being absolutely heroic, and six months after his death he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He was buried back in his hometown of Cleveland, in Calvary Cemetery.

 

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U.S. Navy ship named after John R. Towle

 

Towle’s story is not only one of pure dedication and self-sacrifice to one’s sacrifice to one’s country, and deserves proper remembrance and prayer.

 

 

Information gathered from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Towle

For more information click here.

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

Fun times at the FEST 2017

The Catholic Cemeteries Association was very excited to return to the FEST this year! Having sponsored the event for over 15 years, the Catholic Cemeteries Association is known for our delicious snow cones, so much so that our tent was attracting visitors as early as 9:30am! One of our CCA  volunteers snapped a quick picture before the events began saying: “the calm before the storm.” Boy was he right!

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“The calm before the storm”

 

 

As the day progressed, the line for CCA snow cones grew longer and longer. Luckily for us, we had an amazing team comprised of our Catholic Cemeteries Association employees and their families. With everyone’s help, we were able to keep the line moving quickly while having a great time!

 

 

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Look at that line! 

 

 

 

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Our snow cone machine hard at work! 

 

After being open for nearly 5 hours, we were able to pass out over 3,000 snow cones, which served as a nice cool down for all of those people sitting out in the sun. It was an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon- complete with faith-filled music, a holy atmosphere, and great people. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, as your Catholic Cemeteries Association, we are very happy to be an active member of the Catholic faith community. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Do you have a favorite FEST memory? Let us know in the comments!

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski