WWI veterans buried in League City to finally get headstones


To pass by Fairview Cemetery in League City, you might not notice it. Two American flags are all that mark the place a pair of World War I veterans were buried nearly 50 years ago.

"This country doesn't understand the sacrifices people make in the military, especially those guys in World War I. And I hate to see them with an empty grave," said Joyce Zongrone with the League City Historical Society.

So Zongrone set out to get those headstones, provided by the government for the military service of Oscar Juenger and Frank Ellis.

Both men died months apart in 1965 with no family.

And as the historical society worked to get markers for other service members, they found that new rules wouldn't allow anyone but next of kin to apply for the markers. So on Tuesday, they were in probate court to change that.

"The probate court would be the most appropriate court to go to handle anything that was related to their estate," attorney Jack Ewing said.

"We're going to sign off on this application," Galveston County Probate Court judge Kimberly Sullivan said.

Sullivan appointed a genealogist with the society as a legal representative for both men's estates.

"It's an honor to have assisted you with this process. I think it's very important that we take care of our veterans," Sullivan said.

It ended up in court, in part, because of another judge. Lonnie Cox learned of the red tape and got the ball rolling.

"Our veterans are that take care, they preserve our rights, our freedoms. And when we forget them, then we forget what our freedoms are all about," Cox said.

So now, the society can reapply and mark the graves of two men willing to sacrifice their lives for our country.

"Because we never leave a man behind," Zongrone said.

Once the paperwork is filed, it'll take about six weeks to get the headstones. The League City Historical Society is planning a special service for the placing of those headstones this summer.

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