Lighthouse Keeper recognition ceremonies in Mathews County on October 7th, 2023

(L to R) Ron Collins, Alma Pasek and Tony Pasek preparing to install a grave marker. Photo by Betty Collins

(L to R) Bm2 Gabriel Lacombe, Event Coordinator Betty Collins and Jim Gierlak at Davis ceremony. Photo by Alma Pasek

Members of Flotilla 66 serve as color guard. (L to R) Jim Gierlak, Nick Koch, Matt Smith, Ray Procopio and Don Connolly. Photo by Alma Pasek

Descendant Susan Lewis Powell speaks at Davis ceremony.  Photo by Alma Pasek

Descendants of Keeper James Beauregard Hurst. Great-granddaughter Gladys Tankersley 3rd from left and granddaughter Janice Hudgins 4th from left (front row). Photo by Betty Collins

Descendants of Keeper William Edward Davis. (L to R) Great-grandchildren Paul Frankie and Barbara Whitaker, great-grand niece Susan Lewis Powell and great-grandson Mike Frankie. Photo by Alma Pasek

Susan Powell – descendant of family of Keeper Robert Franklin Powell. Photo by Alma Pasek

Four generations of descendants attended the Thomas ceremony. Photo by Alma Pasek

Descendants of Keeper John William Thomas. 2nd great-granddaughter Sharon Minter is on the back row. Photo by Alma Pasek

MC Tony Pasek at Ripley ceremony. Photo by Alma Pasek

Bm2 Gabriel Lacombe, Station Milford Haven, USCG unveiling grave marker. Photo by Alma Pasek

Bugler Tom Edwards of Flotilla 66. Photo by Alma Pasek

Nancy Sadler Hurst and brother Jerry Sadler – descendants of family of Keeper James Temple Ripley. Photo by Betty Collins

Descendants of Keeper Oliver R. Hudgins. Great-niece Gladys Tankersley in middle. Photo by Betty Collins

Coordinator Betty Collins and MC Tony Pasek officiating at Hurst ceremony. Photo by Alma Pasek

4th Mathews Grave Marker Event – 2023

On October 7, 2023 six lighthouse keepers buried in Mathews County, VA were honored with USLHS Grave Markers bringing the total honored in this “lighthouse keeper county” to 25.  The day began with March winds and then April showers with gradually clearing skies giving way to sunny conditions by the final two combined ceremonies.  A big thank you to the descendants of Keepers William Edward Davis, Robert Franklin Powell, John William Thomas, James Temple Ripley, Oliver R. Hudgins and James Beauregard Hurst for your help and support.  And thank you to all who attended the ceremonies throughout the day.

A big thank you to Chapter members Betty (board member) and Ron Collins and to Tony (past president) and Alma Pasek whose many efforts contributed greatly to the success of the event.  Also, thank you to Chapter VP Greg Krawczyk, Chapter historian Jennifer Jones, and Chapter members Hobie Statzer and Susan Lewis Powell for their help and assistance.  A tip of the light keeper’s hat to Zachary Cox, Mary Godsey and Flotilla 66 members Commander Matt Smith, Don Connolly, Jim Gierlak, Nick Koch, Ray Procopio and Tom Edwards for their invaluable help. (Zachary Cox assisted Tony with the grave marker preparation and Mary Godsey provided Betty with information regarding the honorees.)  Also, kudos to Bm2 Gabriel Lacombe, Station Milford Haven, USCG for his presence and for unveiling the grave markers.   And a big thank you to the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal and to the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center for providing publicity.

It was a very special day!

Keeper Grave Dedication Ceremony

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