Caring for the Camas Cemetery

Three months after the Camas Cemetery was vandalized, the final step in the effort to make a wrong, right again was put into place.

On Friday, a new headstone for Alexander Stuber was installed. His headstone was the only one damaged beyond repair as a result of vandalism discovered on Oct. 23.

Despite the fact that little is known about Mr. Stuber, people from all different factions of the community responded. Efforts were made by the public works crews with the cities of Camas and Vancouver, with equipment assistance from the Port of Camas-Washougal, to put back more than a dozen headstones that were toppled off their bases.

The Camas police chief thought local citizens might be interested in a unique opportunity to help out, and he was right. Within days after requesting donations through the Friends of the Camas Cemetery, there was enough money to replace Mr. Stuber’s headstone.

Without this outpouring of support, because Mr. Stuber has no known living relatives, his grave site would have likely just gone unmarked.

In addition to highlighting the good in the Camas community, this situation has also highlighted a great need. In 2007, the city of Camas stepped up and assumed responsibility for the upkeep of the cemetery. Previously, it was run for 80 years by the non-profit Camas Cemetery Association. While the 30-acre cemetery is now maintained by city crews, it’s an expensive and time consuming endeavor to try to stay on top of its upkeep 365 days a year.

Eunice Abrahamsen said she and other members of the Friends of the Camas Cemetery have a special place in their hearts for the property and people who are buried there.

“We all have the same goal and the same vision of what the cemetery should look like,” she said.

Abrahamsen said, however, that additional help is needed from people willing to step up, get their hands dirty and keep the cemetery looking like it should.

And, with such an outpouring demonstrated in honor of Mr. Stuber, that kind of help to continue to keep this special and sacred place beautiful really shouldn’t be too hard to find.

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