DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of The Dead

Dorette was out of town Friday, so I drove over to St Cloud, Minn., just 74 miles from Bloomington, Minn. From 1970 to 1973, I taught at the college there (now designated a university).

I stopped at the cemetery where are buried some of my relatives from the Vogel side of the family. With water and a brush, I removed most of the moss that had accumulated on the gravestones since my last visit.

There are eight markers in the plot, the first placed in 1890, the most recent, pictured here, in 1993. It’s for my cousin, Gale Vogel, whom I last saw in 1991 at my mother’s funeral just two years before her own death.

For me it’s the saddest because it includes the name of her partner Eugene Hight, who 24 years after her death is not yet with her at this place. I have learned that Eugene died Feb. 21, 2013, in Little Falls, Minn. The flower on her marker had made me hopeful that they would eventually be together at this cemetery. The obituary says that is the family’s eventual intention.

I always pay my respects first at the grave of my grandfather William R. Vogel, 1884-1956.

He and his wife Ellen (who died after him and is buried at Mahnomen, Minn.), had 10 children, including my mother, Minnie. She and my father, Kermit, are buried near Wellsburg, N.D., where I also will be some day.

On the way back to Bloomington,I reflected about what I know and don’t know about the Vorland and Vogel families.

Regarding the Vorland family, quite a lot. Many of those cousins and their children are friends on Facebook, and I’ve met some of the new generation in person.

Regarding the Vogel side, just the opposite.

I know nothing of the descendants of mom’s siblings, Sarah, Josephine, David, Tom, Ray, Isabel, Mary Lou, Beatrice, and Gale.

Not even of the descendants of my cousin Gale, in her grave not far from where I live.


As poet Andrew Marvel wrote, “At my back I always hear Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near.”

One thought on “DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Thinking Of The Dead”

  • Helen Murphy May 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I enjoy reading your articles. My husband and I are getting our house in East Grand Forks ready to sell so we can move to the Minneapolis area to be closer to our children and grandchildren. I also have been enjoying the new TV shows where people explore their history and learn more about their ancestors or find the biological family they never knew after being adopted. With your love of history, I encourage you to use ancestry.com and other resources out there to meet the Vogel side of your family. It would make for some great articles for this blog and I think give you much happiness. Just do it.


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