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Volunteers gather to restore historic Clareville cemetery
by Delia Soto
Nov 29, 2012 | 1626 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Martin and Elsa Muñoz saw the condition that the San Pedro Cemetery was in and wanted to get it cleaned up. So, on Saturday, they and a group of volunteers converged and removed a ton of trash from cemetery in Clareville.
Martin and Elsa Muñoz saw the condition that the San Pedro Cemetery was in and wanted to get it cleaned up. So, on Saturday, they and a group of volunteers converged and removed a ton of trash from cemetery in Clareville.
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Amador Ramirez and Bobby Gonzalez straighten one of the headstones at the Clareview cemetery on Saturday.
Amador Ramirez and Bobby Gonzalez straighten one of the headstones at the Clareview cemetery on Saturday.
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Delia Soto photo
Numerous volunteers gathered Saturday to help clean up and restore the appearance of the San Pedro Cemetery in Clareville.
Delia Soto photo Numerous volunteers gathered Saturday to help clean up and restore the appearance of the San Pedro Cemetery in Clareville.
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When Martin and Elsa Muñoz organized a clean-up day for the San Pedro Cemetery in Clareville, they were ecstatic and appreciative of the overwhelming outcome and support.

“It was beautiful,” said Elsa of the much needed help received that nice cool morning.

Approximately 20 volunteers showed up early Saturday morning to give the run-down cemetery a complete overhaul and facelift.

Barbara Baravik and her family from Corpus Christi simply wanted to help, even though they have no family members buried there.

And help they did, as their truck was loaded with all sorts of equipment and the family was full of contagious energy.

“I’m on vacation, and this is how we wanted to end our time,” she said, whose husband, a Coast Guard member, and sons had just come home from a hunting trip.

They came in as strangers and left feeling like family.

Terri Vidaure and Glory Rothlisberger of Beeville rolled up their sleeves and gave it their all.

Terri says she comes often, as this is her grandparents’ resting place.

Ricky and Rachel Casarez said they come every chance they get, not only to visit his brother, Abel, and other family members’ gravesites, but to give the property a thorough cleaning.

Lazaro Puente of Beeville stopped by that morning to visit his family’s plots and shared fond memories of his time cleaning the area.

When a truckload of five men geared with all sorts of cleaning tools approached the grounds, they took action into their own hands and labored their hearts out, all the time with a genuine smile.

Bobby Gonzales and Richard Martinez, both NBC employees, invited their buddies, Alan Candia, Max Gonzalez and Marcos Bustamante, to partake in this labor of love.

Janie and Adolfo Chapa, Bertha Martinez, Amador Ramirez and Delia Soto also joined the effort in hopes of continuing what their mother, Trinidad Ramirez, started many years ago. Their mother was a frequent visitor to the cemetery where her parents, Espirio and Senovia Gomez, are buried. They fondly remember trips with their mother hauling jugs of water for the flowers and plants she placed on her parents’ graves as well as a hoe and rake to clean their plots.

Amador said, “The blessing is ours, as not only did we help clean, but we met new friends and bonded.”

An enormous quantity of trash bags were filled to capacity, and the crowd was appreciative of Mr. Casarez, who donated his trailer and hauled it off.

The gravesite of Jose Angel Treviño was once lost in a huge pile of rubbish, but now the monument stands tall and firm and, like Amador said, “Underneath the trash: an angel.”

The day before the scheduled clean-up, Domingo and Bertha Martinez and their son, Domingo III, Manuel Olivo and Benny and Rudy Muñoz started the event by cleaning debris from around the tombstones, setting headstones, weed-eating and raking thus, making the following day a bit easier to get into.

Also, an anonymous volunteer came out and mowed a large portion of the property adding to the beautification of this project.

In addition, the Muñozes are appreciative of the generous contributions of Mr. DeLaGarza of Beaumont and Velia Cuellar.

Elsa, along with her husband, extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for donating their time to lend them a helping hand.

“My Christmas wish came true,” she concluded as this brings joy not only to me, but to everyone who calls this home. She believes they know their final resting place is as beautiful as she sees it today.

Although the main goal that day was to clear the debris lying atop Mr. Treviño’s monument, two large piles hidden in the corner of the grounds still remain and are an eyesore in desperate need of removal.

As a courtesy to the hard work put into this project and out of respect for those buried at San Pedro Cemetery, visitors are asked to bring along trash bags and dispose of unwanted arrangements, weeds and other items and remove them from the grounds.

The Muñozes will gather again the third week in January and invite everyone to join them as they continue the clean-up project.
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