Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Memorial Garden at Ascension Church


Until very recently, I was unaware that Sierra Madre's Church of the Ascension has a Memorial Garden for ash burials.  The entrance to the Garden, seen here, is just north of the front entrance to the church, on Baldwin. 

In addition, Reverend Louis Redner Dalrymple is buried in the crypt that is located within the church.  A memorial plaque in his honor can be found near the altar.  According to "The History of a Parish," by Catherine Turney (1985), the plaque reads as follows:

"Beneath this chancel lies the body of
Louis Redner Dalrymple, Rector
October 1901 to June 1903
Died January 30, 1904"
 
As you can see, his time as rector was very brief, but it must have been positive for him, and for the parish, as he is the only person buried in the church. 
 
According to FindaGrave.com, the ashes of 134 people are located in the Memorial Garden, including those of Reverend Donald Behm, who led the parish from 1979 until about 1986 and who had, prior to arriving at Ascension, been the Archdeacon of the Diocese of Los Angeles.  Also located in the Memorial Garden is Catherine Turney, who wrote the 1985 book about Ascension, in honor of the church's centennial.  She passed away in 1998.
 
Interestingly, I purchased my copy of the book "The History of a Parish" on e-bay, through a seller in the mid-west.  It appears to have been a gift copy given by Reverend Behm to Reverend Ronald Erlandsen, another important rector in the history of the church.  Father Erlandsen was, among his many other accomplishments, instrumental in helping the church to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"The History of a Parish" seems to be a story of Sierra Madre as well, with City history interwoven throughout the book.  Hopefully, I'll find some good tidbits to share with you!

 
 
 
 

8 comments:

  1. That's quite a me-related treasure you're holding onto: I worked for Father Erlandson at Ascension (and placed the National Register plaque at his direction); and Father Behm performed my first marriage (though it was held at Our Savior in San Gabriel).

    I just learned a few months ago that Father Ron died of cancer in 2009 in as noble a way as possible; long but worthwhile story by the man himself here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=323941434099

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    1. It's very you-related! Thought you'd enjoy it! I told you about the book being a gift for Father Ron, but didn't realize it had come from Father Behm. It has a personalized bookmark-sized card, typed, starting with "Dear Ron," then a nice note about how he should have proofread it better, because Father Ron got a new middle name on page 167. He finished with "Sorry about that." Then "Best Wishes, Don." (Don was written in his hand. I also just noticed that the book is inscribed by the author, to Fr. Erlandson. (How I missed that, I do not know!)

      I remember your speaking of both of them, and didn't realize that Father Behm had performed the marriage at Our Savior. So, very, very cool that you placed the plaque! Will check out the link. Just got home, and couldn't get it on my phone.

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  2. What a nice bit of history and story - and love that shot, so calming.

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    1. It's a very nice place. I've taken a few pictures of the garden, but none that I think do it justice. Will try again soon. :)

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  3. Another interesting story to go with your lovely photo. I am looking forward to see what inspiration you get from your newly acquired book. Have fun reading!

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    1. Thanks, LOL! I'll definitely have fun reading. I'm hoping to find some good stuff to share, too! I'm wishing that I would have spread out some of my history finds over several posts. I get so worried that I'll run out of material!

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  4. i love a post with some history! james has quite a bit of useful info too! enjoy the book!

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    1. It's fun to discover this stuff! I'll have to pick James' considerable brain, to see what else I can use it for! :)

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