Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
djtruitt (#47746502)
 member for 4 years, 6 months, 24 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
Bio Photo I was born and raised in Ottumwa, Iowa, and I have lived here all of my life. On October 12, 2015, I accepted management of several thousand memorials in Shaul Cemetery here in Ottumwa. I am updating these memorials as time permits, using information available both on the internet and in our local resources here in Wapello County. I would also like to thank my friend Bill Haseltine who has researched and helped me update several hundred memorials since January 2016.

If you have any information you would like to have entered into these memorials, let me know either through the findagrave edit system, or through my e-mail. If you are not a findagrave member, and you have questions about or information on any of the memorials that are for your family members, feel free to let me know. If you contact me by e-mail, please include a link to the memorial you are writing about.

Also, please keep in mind that a person's last known address on their Social Security Death Record may not be where they died. Many people who lived in Ottumwa died in Des Moines, Iowa City, or VA Hospitals around the state. Also, many of them went to stay with their children in another state during their last illness and died there. I will research the places of death when I receive edit notices to verify what is correct, as I know everyone wants accurate information.
As I am updating these memorials in Shaul, I always try to find their parents and other family members. In doing this through, I have found numerous memorials for unknown death dates and/or burials or for burials in the wrong cemetery. PLEASE NOTE: THE MEMORIALS I HAVE ARE NOT DUPLICATES, AND A MEMORIAL IN A KNOWN CEMETERY TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER AN UNKNOWN BURIAL.
(Per: “Help with Findagrave - Why are there multiple memorials for the same individual? - How does Find A Grave handle duplicate memorials?
In regard to duplicates, a memorial with a correct known burial location will always be preferred over an unknown burial location.”)

If I notify you that I have a memorial for one of your unknowns or for one you have in the wrong cemetery, please do not move your memorial into Shaul and try to pretend that your memorial was there first or write me, telling me you have moved your memorial and expecting or demanding me to delete mine. I am noting on my memorials the date I notified the owners of these memorials, as this is becoming a common occurrence. I also keep copies of all my edit notices.

It may be true that your memorial was created first, but as noted above, a memorial in the correct cemetery takes precedence. On the memorials I accepted management of, I did not create them, and I cannot delete them. The person who originally created these memorials spent months entering Shaul Cemetery’s database into findagrave and also made two cross-country trips to photograph gravestones in Shaul, in an effort to help families find their family members' graves. I have spent months updating these memorials, and I often work for 2-3 weeks on one family. Expecting us to just delete our memorials after all of the work we have put into them and after we were courteous enough to contact you, is not right, and it is not fair.

I have noticed on a number of these unknown burials that the creator actually knew when and where the person died or knew their last known address. In today’s world where many people are cremated and are not buried, an unknown burial is understandable, and if you have an obituary for one of these recent situations that does not give a place of burial, it is appropriate to go ahead and make a memorial.

However, these that I am running into are for people who died long enough ago that they were buried. In cases like that, I suggest that you e-mail the public library in the town or genealogy society in the county where the person lived and request an obituary which should tell you where they were buried. Another suggestion is to call the cemeteries in that town to see if they were buried there. For those who lived here in Ottumwa, I have helped many people find where their family members were buried, and I am happy to help you if there is no findagrave memorial for them.
For those who might still be reading this, I would like to mention another helpful hint: If you believe that someone died between census years because a husband or wife stated that they were a widow or widower on the next census, that does not necessarily mean that was the case. I have found that years ago, many divorced people gave their marital status as widow or widower rather than state they were divorced. I have spent hours looking for people who allegedly died and found that they actually had remarried and still lived here or had moved away. I imagine at the time it was easier just to tell the census taker that their spouse had died, as it probably didn’t seem like it really mattered. Who would have guessed that 100 years later, there would be such a thing as an internet where their records would be available for all to see, and descendants would be frantically searching for a spouse that had not passed on yet!
Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 2,578 Memorials Added
 • 9,081 Memorials Managed
 • 11 Memorials/Week
 • 5,169 Photos
 • 20 Photo Requests
 • 359 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 942 Virtual Flowers
 • 5 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 12 Sponsorships
 • 23 Friends
Search Contributor's Records

First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Between The Dash - Shaul ... (19)
My Parents (2)
OHS Class of 1969 (37)
OHS Class of 1970 (10)
Unusual Gravestones (36)
Find A Grave Friends
"IRISH EYES ARE..., Barbara Cooper, Betty Johnson, Bhayesbr1, Bill Haseltine, cemgems, Danny Robison, Delores W. Roe, Jack (Dimmitt) ..., Jane Cockayne W..., Jerri Minter, John, Kirk Robert Sel..., llanggin, MarkC, Michael Jones, NE MO, Richard K Thomp..., Sara Corbett Cr..., Valerie Lawrenc..., [View all Find A Grave Friends...]
Messages left for djtruitt (375)[Leave Message]
Harold L. Dodge
Hello again,

Thank you for taking the time to take a photo of Harold Dodge's headstone and posting it. It is much appreciated. You are a great asset to

Added by M M on Sep 25, 2016 8:38 AM
Lemonds, Orman
Thank U so much for taking your time to take and post the picture of Orman's stone, it helps so much.
Thanks for your work in Find A Grave, its fabulous.

Added by Nancy on Sep 23, 2016 8:29 AM
wynn beeson
Thanks so much for your time. Wynn
Added by wynn beeson on Sep 21, 2016 7:46 PM
Don Modlin
Thank you for your time !!
Added by Don Modlin on Sep 21, 2016 3:53 PM
Ellen Poline DuBois, Schul Cemetery, Ottumwa
CORRECTION: She died in Shawnee MISSION, Kansas, not Shawnee MISSOURI, Kansas.

Thanks for all the incredibly good work you do! Your work has been invaluable to me personally.

Sandy T
Added by steeters01 on Sep 16, 2016 10:38 AM
Can you please check obits for me?
Just wondering if this edit request is correct. Thanks~~
Added by "IRISH EYES ARE SMILING" on Sep 11, 2016 10:06 AM
Looking for obit for a Arlo Christy who died in 1977. Thanks~~I don't have my cds here with me and could not look this up for a person. Would appreciate any help. Thanks~~

Added by "IRISH EYES ARE SMILING" on Aug 26, 2016 12:15 PM
I will message you when I get back online.
Added by "IRISH EYES ARE SMILING" on Aug 03, 2016 8:19 AM
I am moving to Medford, Oregon this week end and will not be online for awhile. Taking care of my great grandaughter Bella while my grandaughter goes back to nursing class.
Added by "IRISH EYES ARE SMILING" on Aug 03, 2016 8:18 AM
Madison Commodore Warder
Thank you for adding his parents to his memorial as I requested. You are correct his mother did die in 1853 shortly after giving birth to her daughter. I must have made a typo when I sent the edit as 1953. I have been on vacation and just saw your correction. M. C. Warder is my husbands great grandfather.
Added by SEEKER on Aug 02, 2016 5:10 PM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED