By Sheryl Stanley
Eight years after his death, the cremated remains of retired Air Force Staff Sergeant Charles Edward Addison may soon have a final resting place, but for now they are being held for safe keeping at the Dickey Funeral Home in Harrisonville.
Addison’s remains were discovered recently in a roadside ditch near Garden City by a Cass County road worker. He turned the box over to the Sheriff’s Department whose personnel, seeing a label for Dickey Funeral Home, returned the box to the local business.
It is not known how long the box had been exposed to the elements, although it was noted to be “clearly deteriorated.”
Chris Meinsen of Dickey Funeral Home confirmed that they held a service for Addison when he died in 2011, then sent the body for cremation according to the family’s wishes. When the remains were returned to the funeral home, they were given to the family.
“Sometimes we know what the family intends to do with the ashes, but usually we don’t,” Meinsen said.
Since the discovery, Addison’s next of kin have been contacted and have 30 days to reclaim the ashes if they wish, according to Meinsen. In the meantime, funeral home staff have contacted the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville to inquire about inurnment there.
Meinsen said it will take two to three weeks before they have an answer. Representatives of the cemetery must confirm Addison’s military service and secure a copy of his discharge papers before granting the request for inurnment.
If that fails, Meinsen said Dickey’s is prepared to purchase a lot locally for Addison and to have a government headstone placed after burial.