Dillard, Royston and Holman

Have you ever seen any Deaf person that’s buried to next other Deaf person…even three of them in same row? I am not talking about students who passed away far from home and were buried next to each other at old Deaf schools, or nearby cemeteries in town (which was pretty common back in old days). I’m talking about those cool Deaf people who knew each other and were friends for many years. At least they stay together forever, buried next to each other! Now that’s how you keep Deaf Culture even in the burial place! ♥️

(One day late due to technical problem)


[Video Transcript]

Adonia: Hey, Baylee and I are visiting the Cave Spring cemetery. What’s neat about this place…there is three graves of Deaf people in a row. I don’t know is there is an agreement to have three Deaf people buried next to each other, but there they are – see those gravestones? This is Dillard, the other one is Royston and the other one is Holman. Pretty neat!

Adonia: That is a beautiful sunset. About this Dillard grave, there were a Deaf couple – the man is Connor Dillard (demonstrates name sign) and his wife was Myrtle (demonstrates name sign). Why am I telling you about them? Because Myrtle recently died, exactly one year ago! If she had lived for five more months, she would have been 100 years old! But she didn’t make it. But wow…she was pretty strong, and quite smart too. For many years she had worked in the laundry at GSD. Her husband Connor (name sign) has something interesting; he had an older Deaf brother who entered GSD several years before Conner did. The older brother and the family were touring GSD campus when they met the 4th superintendent of GSD – it was Wesley O. Conner. Later, when Conner was born, his parents decided to honor Wesley O. Conner by naming the baby after him! That’s how Conner got his name. Cool, isn’t it? And it happened a long time ago! Wesley O. Conner became the superintendent of GSD in 1867 and retired in 1916. And I have actually met both Conner and Myrtle before they passed away. Wow!

Adonia: About the Royston couple, the husband was Russell (demonstrates name sign) and his wife was Louise (her name sign is J in the same location and movement as Russell’s name sign – sorry I didn’t demonstrate her name sign). Take a look at their gravestone. Those were awesome people. Louise, with Myrtle, also worked in the laundry at GSD for many years. Russell taught vocational classes at GSD. Yes, I have taken vocational classes under Russell. Know what class I took under him? It was car body shop! Yes! We learned how to do the car body, the welding, and so on! It was so enjoyable! I was so lucky I have taken a class with the teacher Russell Royston!

Adonia: Ok, here’s the Holman grave. He was just a single person in this burial. His name was Alton Holman (demonstrates name sign.) Take a look here. See the engravened “ILY” sign and a Boy Scout Promise hand? Alton loved being in the Boy Scouts troop, and he was actively involved in scouting and serving as a scoutmaster at GSD all his life. He had graduated from GSD in 1948 and he was a senior when had its 100th celebration of GSD. And I have met Alton Holman before he passed away, too!

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