81 Years Ago Today

On July 19, 1931, eighty-one years ago today, Walter Ray Kernan (1915-1931) tragically died at the young age of 16 in Coquille, Coos Co., Oregon, USA. According to his death certificate, he accidentally drowned while swimming in the Coquille River.

Walter was born in 1915 the sixth of twelve children born to George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) and Maudena Elizabeth Stearns (1885-1936), my 2nd great grandparents; and thus, he was the younger brother of Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979), my great grandfather.


When Walter died, he was the fifth child that George and Maudena lost at a young age–the others being Florence, Curtis, an Unnamed boy, and Ernest. He was buried in an unmarked grave next to his other siblings in the family plot at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon. (The above right photo shows the family plot with gloves placed in the approximate location of  each of the graves.)

3 thoughts on “81 Years Ago Today

  1. Oh how sad and the significance of the gloves was not lost on me! The word ‘touching’ has it’s real meaning here since reaching out with a gloved hand is like pulling back the love from times gone by. If only we could really do that…

    1. Sorry I missed your reply, but the reference to the gloves was for the photograph of the family plot in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. A volunteer from find-a-grave placed leather gloves to mark the approximate locations of the graves. Sorry about that, I should have explained it better. 🙂

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