Saturday, February 03, 2018

Virgil Wright (1894-1972), Funeral Ephemera, 52 Ancestors # 5

The fifth ancestor in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project is my maternal great-grandfather, Virgil Lee Wright (1894-1972), who married Edna Muriel Pierce (1897-1968) in 1915 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana.

When Virgil died on March 25, 1972, his funeral arrangements were handled by the Karl M. Kyle Funeral Home of 412 North Harrison Street in Alexandria, Indiana. Pieces of ephemera relating to the costs of the funeral reveal some interesting tidbits.

This receipt copy is dated March 26, 1972, the day after the death and clearly states my great-grandfather's full name as the name of the deceased, and contains my grandfather, William Wright, as the purchaser.

Cash Advances costs itemized on this receipt include: Clergy $15.00; Flowers $43.35; Musicians no charge; Grave Opening $90.00; Death Certificates $4.00 (4 at $1.00 each); Total with tax $174.20.

Service and Merchandise costs itemized on this receipt include : Service, including casket $1575.00; Vault $305.00.  Total for Services and Merchandise $1880.00.  Total Amount Due $ 2054.20. 

The receipt notes "Paid 4/12/72 $1799.20" and states a balance due of $255.00 with a note "To be paid by Social Security".

In the upper right hand of the receipt the total of $2054.20 is shown as being split out three ways payable by Clara High, Barbara Webster & William Wright - the three surviving children of Virgil.  Clara's portion was to be $599.73, Barbara's portion was $599.73, and William's portion was $599.74 - with the balance of $255.00 to be paid by Social Security.

This second copy of the receipts has the additional details that on 4/17/72 Social Security paid $255.00 and the bill is marked "Paid in Full" and signed by Karl M. Kyle.

These documents highlight that not only did Virgil's children split the costs of his funeral, but looking at these prices from a 2018 vantage you can get a perspective on inflation.

The funeral home is still in operation today in Alexandria under the ownership of Mike and Connie Owens.  Their website and history can be found at Owens Memorial Services.

Another document relating to Virgil's funeral is this Warranty Deed from the Alexandria Cemetery Association when Virgil purchased the funeral plot at Park View Cemetery.  He purchased the SW 1/4 of Lot 2 in Block 5 for $50.00 on March 21, 1969.  The document was signed by John and Beverly Noffze as Secretary and Vice-President of the Cemetery Association.

This deed has me a bit confused. Would this be just for his plot?  If so, why did he not already have it purchased when his wife died in March of the year before?  Or is this part of the plot behind Virgil and Edna, where my grandparents are buried?  It appears I have more to investigate in order to answer these questions.

Previously, I've written about the facts of his life in an Exploratory Data post

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge was created by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small blog.  The premise is to write once a week about a specific ancestor - whether it be a story, a biography, a photograph or a research problem.

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