This is a Letter to the Editor of The Tyler Star News, which I hope will be read by the citizens of Sistersville and especially by those who have relatives buried in either the Oakwood or Greenwood Cemeteries. Most importantly, I hope it is read by the members of the local Cemetery Committee that oversees these cemeteries and is responsible for their maintenance.
I have grandparents, one parent and many other very close relatives buried in both cemeteries. I have recently learned that the endowment fund, which provides adequate care for Greenwood and generally inadequate care for Oakwood is losing value each year.
It is inconceivable to me that the Cemetery Committee has not attempted to raise additional endowment funds by conducting some type of fundraising effort. If this is not done, many of the relatives who would or could give will have passed away and the cemeteries could go into a terrible state of disrepair.
This letter is a call for action by the Cemetery Committee and by people like me who have relatives buried there to organize an effort to increase the endowment fund.
The Cemetery Committee should take note of the fact that a relatively small group who have very distant relatives buried in the Wells Family Cemetery near the Sistersville Hospital recently raised over $23,000 for the complete rehabilitation of that cemetery and for maintenance for a 10-year period.
Let the people of Sistersville get to work to save Oakwood and Greenwood.
David T. Van Covern