Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Astatula Cemetery In Florida

Astatula Cemetery was established on October 11th 1895 and was deeded to the town by T.A. and Mary Hux.  The cemetery sits in what I consider to be the center of the town next to the elementary school near the intersection of Highway 48 and Van Buren Street.  Some of the headstones here are so old that their etchings are completely gone leaving the occupant unidentified.  I found some very interesting headstones I wanted to share.  One that I did not get a picture of, but that had a wonderful dedication was for Sherry Lynn Cassidy.  She was only nineteen when she passed and here is what her family memorialized her with:
SHERRY” S is for being so Special to Us.  H is for the hurt we feel without you.  E is for the Everlasting Memories of you.  R is for Remembering You Always.  R is for Recalling All the Good Times. Y is for You and Everything You Are to Us All!  Put Them All Together and They Spell SHERRY. Someone We All Love Very Much, and She Will Be in Our Hearts Forever!!
The first mayor of Astatula, Shep,  is buried here with a headstone quite different from every other marker because it was formed from black granite:
This next headstone was unique because of the symbol of a hand pointing upward.  I had not seen this symbol before and it was on one of the older graves in the cemetery:
 This woman’s maiden name is Hux, which is the same as those who deeded the land for the cemetery so I assume she was related to the family in some way.  The next headstone has a unique symbolism on it as well seeming to indicate God reaching down from heaven to grab hold of the person who has passed on with the plea, “Precious Lord take my hand.”:
I took years of Spanish in school, but much of it has been lost to the recesses of my mind.  I’m not entirely sure what this marker states, but I do know the top phrase “hijo de mi alma” translates to “my darling boy or child.”
This grave marker features a statue of Jesus and was so worn that I do not know who is buried here.  The amount of wear on a headstone in Florida does not necessarily indicate age because I saw several very worn and tarnished stones dating only back to the 60s.  Florida weather, sun and humidity takes a toll.

I loved this plot because of the life sized dog statue.  The pup was wearing a collar and tag, so I assumed the statue was made from life to represent a lost pet and the owners had their headstone memorialized to indicate that they were going the way of pets, across the Rainbow Bridge:
This headstone has the popular form of displaying a book as a double page spread.  The book could be either the Bible or it could represent the Book of Life:
This memorial is what first caught my eye from the road and I had been curious about it for months.  I was quite disappointed when I arrived at the plot and discovered no further information.  There was actually no headstone, only a mortuary marker that will soon be lost to time.  I imagined that this individual liked elephants and perhaps these two statues were from a private collection.
The graves of children always touch me.  It seems so unfair to lose a life so young.  This little girl was indeed cherished and I loved what her grave marker had to say:
At the foot of this little girl’s grave I found a bench with her name painted on the top.  There appeared to be other writing and symbols painted on the bench, but they are beginning to fade:
I thought this marker was interesting because of the popular symbol of an urn.  The grapes with leaves symbolizes a Christian faith.
This final marker I included because the couple died within days of each other.  They were married to each other for a long time, 58 years.  I’m always touched when spouses die days or weeks apart, like Johnny Cash and his wife June.  I’m not sure about the cow statue, but Astatula is a small town and they could have been farmers.

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