Hewitt Eagle Scout completes cemetery conservation project

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:48

Hope — Robert S. Ruth, a Life Scout with Troop 146 of Hewitt, recently completed his Eagle Scout project on the Old Union Cemetery, Route 519, in Hope. Robert’s original project called for the leveling and cleaning of 110 headstones in the cemetery. His completed project, encompassing 166 headstones and over 600 man hours, was completed on July 3, 2011. Many headstones were discovered almost completely buried while leveling other stones. These buried stones were added to the project and also reset and cleaned. Robert, 14, became interested in the Old Union Cemetery after his sister, Kimberly Pearce, happened on the dilapidated cemetery during a day of photography with a friend who had recently moved to New Jersey from Texas. He expressed interest in conserving the cemetery after his Life Scout board of review in August of 2010 when his scoutmaster, Glenn Morris, asked if he had a project in mind. Robert received training in cemetery conservation from Jonathan Appell of Gravestone Preservation during a weekend class in August of 2010. The class was held in the Wethersfield Historic Cemetery in Wethersfield, Conn. Robert then went about finding out what the name of the cemetery was and who, if anyone, was responsible for it. He did research through www.gravefinder.com and was able to identify the cemetery and the rest is history. Robert’s sister, Kimberly, assisted by friends Spiro Petrisis and Ed Arroyo, organized and promoted a fund raising concert that was held at the Clash Bar in Clifton. Robert raised $1,150.00 to fund his project. Performing free of charge were Sammy Kay (of the Forthrights), Chris Skel (of the Skels), and Crave Case and The Now. Many contributed to the project, and Robert thanks them all including: The Old Union Cemetery Association, Lester Shotwell, Elizabeth Shotwell, Ann DePietro and Ruth Huston, The Clash Bar, Marshall Hill Materials of West Milford, North Warren Farm and Home of Blairstown, Maryanne Shotwell, Allied Building Supply of East Rutherford, 1-800-TOP-SOIL, Robert DePuy, Steven Veninger, the Harrington Family: Jim, Aidan, Liam and Shawn, Elaina Kalogerakis, Aaron and Kim Pearce, Glenn Morris, Scott Morris, Tommy Carroll, the Massena Family: Marlon, Elizabeth, Pierre and Mark, the Walsh Family: Pat, Robin, Gillian and Patrick, Charlie Thayer, the Capozzi Family: Lou, Carol and Joe, Spiro Petrisis and Kim Dowd, Uncle Eddy and Cousin Evan Ruth, Mom and Dad, and Bob and Theresa Ruth.