Archive for April 22nd, 2010

In the newer section of Hopewell Historic Cemetery, I found this tombstone:
Robert K. Cole
I’ve never seen times recorded on a tombstone, so I knew then that I would be doing more research to learn about this young pilot.

Warrant Officer Cole was from Richmond, Indiana, and was born in nearby Hamilton, Ohio. It appears from his obituary that Cole’s parents were divorced – his father lived in Richmond, Indiana, and his mother in College Corner, Ohio. He had three sisters, a brother, and stepbrother. He graduated from Union High School in College Corner, Ohio, in 1968. I don’t know if he enlisted or was drafted, but Cole entered basic training in 1968 after graduation. At the time of his death, he left four grandparents and one great-grandmother to mourn him.

However he got there, he ended up in Vietnam in 1970 in the 101st Airborne Division, 158th Aviation Battalion, Company C. His helicopter was shot down during a supply run in 1970, which helps explain the precision with which the moment of his death is noted (although some of the information from the Company website online disputes that his death was immediate). There are a variety of sources where you can learn more Warrant Officer Cole, including the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. The VHPA even has a short comment from one of Cole’s fellow soldiers, who helped look for the wreckage. Punctuated reports of the helicopter crash that killed Cole and his two crewmates are also here.

A memorial was held for Cole in the local American Legion post in 2003 that his surviving family attended. Cole is remembered on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial (The Wall) in Washington on Panel 10 West line 60, D.C., as well as on the Freedom Fountain in his hometown of Richmond, Indiana.  You are not forgotten, Warrant Officer Cole.

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The Lake View School fire (often referred to as the Collinwood School Fire, from the name of the community) is a particular area of interest for me.  On my trip to the Euclid Cemetery, I located 4 markers for 7 fire victims.   Three of the markers are for siblings who perished in the fire.  Euclid is set up with its entrance off of Concordia Road, and there is a single road that snakes down through the cemetery and deposits you at a light on Euclid Avenue.

Lillian Carrie and Emil Otto Rostock

The first marker is fairly close the top of the hill, on your left as you drive in.  It is a marker shaped like two hearts next to one another for the Rostock children, Lillian and Emil.  Lillian was 6 and Emil was 12.  Under Emil’s name, birth date, and death date is the added word, “unidentified.”  Like Emma on the Schmitt Angel in Lakeview Cemetery, it appears that Emil was not able to be laid to rest next to his sister.  The back of the marker reads: “Here lie our well-deserving children, Emil and Lillian, Lake View School fire victims.


Jump with me now to the other end cemetery, the portion closest to Euclid Avenue.  Here are the Buschman sisters, Rose and Erma.
Rose Sophie and Erma Marie Buschman

And they have almost the same stone as the Rostocks.  The shape is the same set of side-by-side hearts with one name in each heart.  And on the back is a nearly duplicate inscription, “Here lie our well-deserving daughters, Erma and Rose, Lake View school fire victims.”

It isn’t completely surprising that two families who each lost two children in the same tragedy  would order such similar markers, but it’s still an interesting coincidence.  The monument carvers must have been overwhelmed by the number of markers needed after a tragedy like that, and it seems likely that the Rostock and Buschman families ordered from the same person or company.  Someone on find-a-grave posted a photo that is supposed of to be of these two girls.

The other three fire victims are also in this area.  Raymond Gould’s single marker has an open book with a poem on top of it.  His marker is pretty close to the road after its final turn coming down towards Euclid Avenue.

Raymond Gould

The marker that is showing its age the most is the one for Fern and Wanita Robinson.  At the moment, the best way to describe to find the marker is to go to the last big tree before the road exits the cemetery onto Euclid Avenue.  Walk straight up the hill, looking for a small white marker with the remains of two lambs facing one another.  The lambs have, for lack of a better term, been decapitated over time.   You will be walking up to the back of the marker.  This marker, even more so than the others, is hard to read.  Fern and Wanita are listed as the daughters of Wm. and Bertha Robinson.

Fern and Wanita Robinson

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