[Even though it is Wednesday where I am, I’m still calling it “Tombstone Tuesday.” Hey, it’s still Tuesday somewhere in the world!]
Question: When is a tombstone not a tombstone?
Answer: When it’s a cenotaph.
A cenotaph (literally “empty tomb”) is a memorial for someone who is not buried at that place, either because they are buried someplace else or the body could not be recovered. Sometimes the marker will give you a clue that it is a cenotaph rather than a tombstone.
The phrase “Lost on Ice” on this marker in Holy Cross Cemetery in Emmet County, Michigan is a clue that George Kruskie is not actually buried here, but rather was lost. The area is on the shores of Lake Michigan and near the Straits of Mackinac. A search for newspaper articles might confirm my hypothesis that he fell through the ice and his body was never recovered.
The marker shown above is the first one I have seen that actually notes that it is a cenotaph. It isn’t clear whether it is a cenotaph just for Dorothy Beetham or for all three people listed on the stone. A check with the office at Union Cemetery in Columbus, obituaries, and death certificates would clear up the situation.