Duquesne veterans tend to grave marker with no home
Most Americans know about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
In front of the Duquesne VFW Post 188 is the grave marker of an identified soldier, but the location of his tomb is unknown.
Charles R. Deemer was born on June 20, 1919, and died April 28, 1993. He was a Marine sergeant who served in World War II, according to his gravestone, but little else is known about him, at least to the marker's current keepers.
Deemer's gravestone was found by a Duquesne public works employee about two years ago in the area of Viola Avenue and Fourth Street. The employee, Jim Scheitzer, didn't know what to do with the rectangular ground-level stone, so he took it to the local VFW post for safe keeping.
VFW members said they tried to find family of the deceased Marine so that the marker could be returned to its rightful place, but have had no success.
An obituary of another man with the same name who hailed from Bolivar was found online by the VFW but that individual was born in 1942 and died in 2005.
Post members say the marker is not missing from any local graveyards and even local clergy were unable to find anyone with ties to Deemer.
“I'd just like to find out where it belongs,” post commander Tom Travis said. “We hope to one day return it to where it belongs.”
On Veteran's Day, the VFW placed the marker in front of the post along N. Second Street. It seems a fitting place, in the midst of the post's war memorial.
“In essence, right now, we've adopted him,” post manager John Burke said.
Post service commander Ron Loop recalled the placement ceremony was an honorific event. Taps was played on Deemer's behalf.
Post members are proud to be keepers of the stone — there is talk about having a party on Deemer's birthday and kitchen manager Maggie Chiponis said the post plans to decorate the marker with a wreath for Christmas — but post members stress they would most like to see the marker returned to its proper location.
If the marker is claimed, they say its relocation will be marked with a full ceremony.
Anyone with information about Deemer or the marker is asked to contact the VFW at 412-466-9897.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport Area students share views during Black History Month panel talk
- White Oak seeks funds to stabilize road
- Duquesne Elementary School students join the ranks of junior constables
- Notre Dame President Hesburgh expanded school, improved academics, fought for civil rights
- Previously convicted of embezzlement, Mt. Pleasant postal worker accused of mail theft
- Ex-Brewers star Hart hopes to prove to Pirates he still can play
- Finding perfect pairing for Ehrhoff key for Penguins
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- Temp slowly rising
- Improved play against zone keys Pitt’s turnaround
- West Kittanning church fights through frozen pipe problems