Decades after death in Oregon, remains buried in Iowa
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — The remains of a woman who died in an Oregon mental institution nearly 60 years ago have finally been buried alongside her sister’s grave in Iowa.
Distant relatives of Daisy Walker Wegner buried her ashes Thursday in the North Walker Cemetery in Burlington, according to The Hawk Eye newspaper (http://bit.ly/1KA4m52).
Wegner died in 1957 at the Oregon State Hospital, where she’d spent the last 27 years of her life. She had been divorced and had no children.
Like thousands of others who died at the Salem institution, her body was cremated and the remains were largely forgotten. Since officials discovered the remains of former patients in 3,500 copper urns about a decade ago, volunteers have been working to send remains to relatives.
Someone contacted Mark Wagler recently, and after proving he was a second cousin, the remains were sent to Iowa.
“It’s sad there were so many people in that building that were completely neglected,” the Rev. Beth Briggs said during a short service at the cemetery.
The cemetery is privately owned and maintained by the Mark and Pam Wagler, who thought the best spot to bury the remains were beside Daisy Walker Wegner’s 16-year-old sister, Flossie. They commemorated Daisy’s life with a plaque attached to Flossie’s tombstone.
Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com