Dale Abrahamson kept Home Cemetery in tip top shape for 25 years - Jane Fischer, Home Cemetery Board.

A few weeks ago, the Herald-Dispatch received a call from Jane Fischer, treasurer of the Home Cemetery Association. Fischer said she’d been thinking of submitting information to honor Dale Abrahamson, who had recently retired from his position as cemetery groundskeeper after 25 years devoted to the work. But Abrahamson had a better place to go before she got it done. He retired on May 1, and passed away on May 11.

“Dale kept Home Cemetery in tip top shape for 25 years,” Fischer said. He’d come to Home Cemetery on May 15, 1992, after 10 years of experience at St. Mary’s Cemetery. The job included mowing; picking up debris; filling, seeding and watering graves; preparing gravesites and controlling the placement of monuments; and much more.

In an article published in the May 21, 2009 Herald-Dispatch, staff writer at that time, Doreen Tyler, relayed the following story: “Dale recalls an incident years ago at the St. Mary’s Cemetery when he and Trixie Heiderscheidt marked and dug a grave only to realize they had dug in the wrong place. ‘The man who died and the woman who owned the plot had the same first and last names,’ Dale explained. ‘I remember she came to us and asked, ‘I’m not dead yet, am I?’

“Dale said he and Trixie went back to the cemetery and fixed their mistake. Dale said that was the first and last time something like that ever happened.”

Fischer commented on how Abrahamson could help people find graves. “He helped people find where their loved one's were buried—you just had to give him a name and he would take you right to it,” she said. “I need to check the maps, then I can find them.”

Abrahamson had remarked on the same thing in the 2009 article. He said he’d mowed around each marker so often he knew just about all of them.

“I learned a lot from Dale,” Fischer said. “He knew it all right off the top of his head! He was awesome to work with.”

Fischer said Matt Ibberson took over as groundskeeper at Home Cemetery on May 1. In addition to Fischer, other members of the Home Cemetery Association board are chairman Zeke Gehrke, secretary Kelly Friton, Ralph Grundmeyer, Charles Romberg and Gerald Plahn.