By Dutch Ramsdill
The eleventh annual tour of Oaklawn Cemetery took place September 22, 2019 on a warm Sunday afternoon. The Stockbridge Area Genealogical/Historical Society presented the program free of charge.
The Society “brought to life” individuals from Stockbridge’s past using actors to tell their stories. The cast of characters, with actors in parentheses, include local druggist John Willmore (cousin Dutch Ramsdill), school teacher and partner in the family insurance business Hester Topping Fillmore (granddaughter Karlee Fillmore), victim of World War I Leslie Richmond (Jeremy Muraf), former president of Boos Products Paige Boos (Tristan DeCroix), secretary to Stockbridge high school principals for 26 years Grace Collins (Geri Uihlein), elementary school teacher Erma Streets ( daughter Eva Lou Mills) and office worker Genevieve Millhouse (Cindy Grostick).
The fine turn out included five groups for the tour. The well prepared team of tour guides of Rebecca DeCroix, Sue Lindemer, Vickie Jacobs and Janet Pendell lead the groups around the cemetery. Several over the age of 80 walked the tour, and David Lindemer captained a golf cart for those needing a lift.
The tent staff of Laura Walsh, Rhoda Mc Vay, Dana Zamiara and Francis Laird kept things organized and fielded questions about the Society. The event featured a “school” to accommodate those too young to take the tour. The teachers included Mary Ellen Ramsdell, and the DeCroix sisters, Melanie and Trista. Student actors included Drew and Rebecca Muraf.
The afternoon was enjoyed by all. For their part, the staff and actors took a great deal of pleasure and guests offered positive feedback. Especially noted were the period costumes worn by the participants.
The Society welcomes suggestions as to whom they might bring back to life in future tours and can be contacted at post office box 966, Stockbridge, MI 49285 or Face Book by searching for Stockbridge Area Genealogical/Historical Society.