Grave markers pay silent tribute to those who served
By Stefanie Frazier For The Beacon-News November 9, 2012 11:48AM
Barbara Weber stands with a medallion that was hung inside her late husband Junior's casket when he past earlier this year. Junior had served during the Korean War and Barbara donated his uniform, which is seen behind her, to the Little White School Museum in Oswego. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:15AM
June Capet and her late husband, Melvyn, shared more than four decades together.
They lived in Montgomery, and Mel was the owner and truck driver of Mel Capet Trucking. He would blacktop roads and streets around the Aurora area.
June Capet said that Mel would not do dishes, but would come home after work and help make dinner.
She recalled him making the “best chili in the world.”
“The kids couldn’t wait till Daddy made chili,” Capet said.
Now Capet lives in Sheridan, and her husband is buried in the Lincoln Memorial Park cemetery in Aurora.
Mel was a private first class in the U.S. Army and had served in Austria and France.
Mel Capet is one of many American military members who have earned the right to have special markers at his gravesite.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration provides free markers for veterans.
Dunn Family Funeral Home with Crematory in Oswego and Healy Chapel Funeral Home in Aurora assist families in obtaining these markers.
According to Marty Fury, director of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, flat markers can have a marble, granite or bronze cover. Headstones could be marble or upright granite.
Markers have veterans’ information like service branch and highest rank and could say loving husband or wife.
Lori Rizzuto, funeral director of Healy Chapel Funeral Home, said military people with discharge papers or who have been honorably discharged qualify to have markers at a cemetery.
“Each family has different situations and different interactions with their loved ones, and they want to remember them for who they are and what they did,” Rizzuto said.
“And to have a veterans’ marker for someone who served our country, I think is a great honor.”
Rizzuto said that people can see who has served in the military because of the markers at a cemetery.
“And now we’re beginning to see a lot of World War II veterans,” she said.
“Forty years ago it was the World War I veterans and now they’re actually almost all gone. I don’t think there’s many left in this world.”
Rizzuto said that now they are “at the stage” of seeing deceased veterans of World War II and the Korean War and beginning to see the numbers who served in Vietnam.
Barbara Weber and her late husband, Junior LaVerne, were Oswego residents, and LaVerne had served in the U.S. Army in Korea.
Today Barbara Weber is waiting on the veterans marker to arrive at a cemetery in Sandwich. In the meantime, she donated her husband’s uniform to be displayed at the Little White School Museum in Oswego.
Weber goes to the cemetery and talks to her love.
She tells him “that I miss him,” she said lovingly. “And it’s gonna be hard without him. But I’m gonna carry on.”