News of my grandfather decades later, with bonus coincidence

So here’s a sad yet amazing small world coincidence I was recently made aware of. The older generation of the Yule side of my family had some unusual customs. Neither of my Grandparents had a funeral, nor did my Uncle John. Now I’ve discovered my Grandmother never even picked up my Grandfather’s cremated remains when he died in the 80’s, and by pure happenstance I was in the graveyard a short while after he was buried there, completely unbeknownst to me (!!!)

I found out about the article linked to and excerpted below because a possible distant relative has been researching the Yules and found my site via the stories I posted here when my grandmother died. He emailed with questions and noted he had recently found out about Arthur Yule’s burial via this linked article. It struck me when reading it that I had happened to be on Long Island a short while after these ceremonies, and had accompanied the Lords on a volunteer trip to this graveyard to plant flags on veterans’ grave sites. A small section of the area we planted flags on was for new burials. I’d like to believe I planted one of my flags on Arthur’s grave, slim though the chances of that might be (the place is enormous). Many of the graves were of roughly the right generation for this to be the case anyway.

I can’t really decide how I should feel about this. One assumes how this was handled accorded with my Grandfather’s wishes, so who am I to find fault? I’m also not especially sentimental in this realm, but it’s a little unsettling all the same to imagine my Grandfather’s remains sitting in a funeral home storeroom for decades, forgotten, until Uncle Sam noticed and decided to take action. Thanks, I suppose, for that.

(this is excerpted from a piece that originally appeared in the FarmingDale Observer.)

Exclusive: Dozens More Veterans’ Names Released For Cremains Burial May 19

Written by Christy Hinko: Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00

(Editor’s Note: This is an extended list of the cremains to be interred on Saturday, May 19 at the Long Island National Cemetery. The original exclusive article appeared in the Friday, April 27 edition of the Farmingdale Observer and online at

On Saturday, May 19, Long Island veteran organizations and funeral homes are set to give proper military burials to more than 50 unclaimed veterans’ cremated remains.

The funeral procession will assemble near exit 49 on the Long Island Expressway at 8 a.m. on Armed Forces Day and travel to Long Island National Cemetery at 2040 Wellwood Avenue in Farmingdale, led by Patriot Guard and Legion Riders for a 9 a.m. military honors burial service.

The Nassau-Suffolk Funeral Directors Association (NSFDA) has led the project, representing all of the funeral homes that will participate since last spring. NSFDA has worked with the help of many veteran organizations, including Roseann Santore, director of Long Island National Cemetery to bring these veterans to their final resting on May 19.

The following is the complete list of names of veterans by custodial funeral home, as of May 4:

[excerpt with my Grandfather – Arthur Yule]

Brueggemann Funeral Home of East Northport:

William G. Sullivan, Army, Korea, and his wife Margaret
Arthur M. Yule, Navy, WWII


2 thoughts on “News of my grandfather decades later, with bonus coincidence

  1. Jesse Hamilton says:

    I was always mildly amused by it. (I’ve known for years) I don’t think he minds it much these days. Do you know if Grannies got the same attention?

    What a crazy coincidence that you would have been there at the same time. How many vets do you think they’re burying these days? I bet you did go right past his. Sounds like a scene in a movie…

    Funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living, right? It looks like it worked out just perfectly for you, “not especially sentimental” but still interested in some closure…


  2. David says:

    Everyone seemed to know about this besides me somehow. I don’t know what the story is with Granny. I know she had no funeral. I hope she’s not languishing in the back room of someplace up in Lake Luzerne – she’s not a veteran and no one’s going to come collect her 2 or 3 decades from now.

    Good observation about the closure. I doubt I was anywhere near his grave in that weekend (the place is REALLY huge) but still. Happy to pretend I might have been 😉


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