Historic Cemetery Restored In D'Iberville - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Historic Cemetery Restored In D'Iberville

Quave Cemetery in D'Iberville was the site of a simple ceremony Friday morning. Harrison County's coroner helped oversee the re-interment of nine caskets into five above-ground tombs.

FEMA and the City of D'Iberville helped pay for and organize the project. It was a meaningful recovery step for a close knit community.

The historic cemetery contains family names synonymous with D'Iberville: names like Quave, Seymour and Borries. After Katrina toppled tombstones and showed no regard for that history, the community faced the challenge of restoring the sacred grounds.

"My grandmother, my grandfather, a little grandson. That's my mother and father," said Shirley Santa Cruz, as the 81-year-old traced family history through aging tombstones. On a feels-like-summer morning, there was a family reunion of sorts in the cemetery.

"And they lived in the house, the family home on St. Charles Street. And it's all gone now," Miss Shirley explained, as she and two sisters gathered to pay respects, again, to the two aunts who raised them.

Loucille and Aline Seymour are among nine bodies to be re-interred after Hurricane Katrina washed several tombs apart.

"We've worked very hard on getting this back together," said D'Iberville firefighter Jay Williams.

Several firemen served as pallbearers for the unusual service. Williams helped organize the restoration.

"To me that's history. When you look at something like this, that's been in the city, being the name Quave for one thing. We have many a Seymour in here. Borries. So, it's a history for our city," said Williams.

The man who supplied the new mausoleums grew up in the area and has relatives buried there.

Don Magallanes says he was happy to be part of the restoration effort.

"Mausoleums are, they're kind of like little homes. And the storm didn't move our units. That was kind of neat. And that's one reason the city wanted or was hoping we would put the units in," he said.

"We will not all die, but we will all be changed. For this perishable body will put on imperishability. And this mortal body must put on immortality," said chaplain Charlie Morrison, as he offered a word of prayer over the caskets.

Sturdier tombs will provide some sense of peace and comfort for the Seymour sisters. This final resting place has been renewed and a grateful family appreciates the restoration.

"Thank you Lord. Thank you very much," said Shirley Santa Cruz, as she made a sign of the cross in the late morning sun.

"Thank you so much," he two sisters echoed.

Quave cemetery was among several final resting spots hit by the hurricane. Coroner Gary Hargrove says the storm disturbed some 250 grave sites in eight different cemeteries.

by Steve Phillips

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