Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - William P. Bellew

Usually obituaries can hold a treasure of information, and this one is no exception. However, it also raised a question - one to which our family still has no answer - The Arlington Question.   I wrote about this when I began wondering why my Grandfather, a decorated war hero, wasn't buried there.   I have recently asked again about this and my Grandmother replied "They told me that he had to be killed in action to be buried there."    If you refer to the Arlington National Cemetery website requirements for burial, you will clearly see that this isn't the case, at least not today.  I haven't any idea what the requirements for burial at Arlington were in 1975, but have a feeling that they don't differ much.

I have tried many times to find the records from the funeral home, in hopes that they would provide some clue.  The funeral home was purchased by other funeral homes over the years, changing hands more than four times, each time being purchased by a larger company and none of the locations seem to know what became of the records from 1975.    I started seeking them when I found this announcement of his death in the papers that my Grandmother has saved.   This announcement clearly says what should have been true...  but I may never know why it didn't happen.


  1. Interesting mystery. BTW, lovely scan of the obituary.

  2. That's so sad that he wasn't buried in Arlington when he could have/should have had that honor.

    The scan is a really good one (and I love how your photos are large and clear on all your posts). I just realized the other day that unless I transcribe a document (obituary, death certificate, etc.) the search engines won't find it. I guess whether to transcribe or not depends on one's intent - to show the image of the document or to be found by other researchers.

    I hope you can get enough information to unravel the mystery. Have you contacted a person at Arlington Cemetery (as opposed to just the website)? I wonder if they have anything to say about it.