Since our story Sunday on the Kitsap County Coroner’s
Office running out of money in 2011 to care for the remains of
the indigent, Coroner Greg Sandstrom called me to say he’d heard
from some people who want to help.
Sandstrom and others plan a ceremony this summer at the Old
Silverdale Cemetery. There, the remains of some of the 18
people now stored at the coroner’s office will get a dignified
burial in plots donated to the county some years back. Those who
are certified veterans will be buried at the Tahoma National
Cemetery in Kent.
One of the 18 will be buried next to his wife at the Seabold
Cemetery on Bainbridge Island, thanks to some sleuthing by a
caretaker for the cemetery. The caretaker called Sandstrom to say
he’d found the name of one of the indigents, Walter G. Autem, on a
marker at the cemetery with a date of birth but not death date.
Clearly he had a place reserved for him.
A woman, who turns out to be Mr. Autem’s wife, is buried in the
same plot. Sandstrom verified the man’s identity by cross checking
the two birth dates, which match. And Mr. Autem, who died at 89,
was a Bainbridge resident. The caretaker has offered to bury the
remains of the two other Bainbridge residents in the coroner’s care
at Seabold Cemetery as well. They are Raymond L. Cassalery, 73, and
Victoria Frances, 59.
“I thought it was pretty nice,” said Sandstrom. “People who know
them will be able to come and visit them.”
As for the funding shortfall, a Bremerton woman has come forward
offering to donate some money to help defray the coroner’s cost for
cremation, at $500 per person.
The story has generated interest beyond Kitsap County. It was
mentioned in the Oregonian’s OregonLive.com
blog. Sandstrom was recently interviewed by Q13, and he’s been contacted by
KOMO, which is doing a story
Anyone who wants to help defray the coroner’s cost to care for
Kitsap’s indigent dead or who has information on the individuals
listed below should call Sandstrom at (360) 337-7077.
The remains of the following people are at the Kitsap County
Coroner’s Office awaiting burial.
Ruth Gross, 79, Belfair
Darrell Elliott, 59, Bremerton
Grace Seeley, 89, Olalla
Betty Honeycutt, 64, Bremerton
Sue Stuart, 60, Bremerton
Delbert Hersha, 57, unknown
Raymond L. Cassalery, 73, Bainbridge Island
Henry M. Gordon, 70, Olalla
Charles E. Curlee, 64, Bremerton
Brian Garcia, 50, Bremerton
Carl G. Hasty, 71, Port Orchard
Victoria Frances, 59, Bainbridge Island
Monte Welenkel, 76, Port Orchard
Walter G. Autem, 89, Bainbridge
Joyce E. Koranda, 82, Poulsbo
Jess M. Wilks, 81, Bremerton
Arnold Mauricette, 70, Seattle
William G. Brown, 77, Port Orchard
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