Family history spurs Queen Creek Boy Scouts project

Caleb Bigelow is an Boy Scout who wanted his Eagle Scout Service Project to include helping to honor the dead.

Caleb and members of his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward worked at the San Tan Memorial Gardens to clean grave stones as well as photograph them and post the photos with info on the website BillionGraves. BillionGraves helps users find photographs of grave stones from all over the country.

“I saw we had a cemetery here and I noticed it’s a really active cemetery because every time we drive by I see lots of people.” Caleb said. “And I was looking for something to do for my eagle project.”

Caleb Bigelow cleans graves at San Tan Memorial Gardens (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Caleb said he spoke with the management of the cemetery to come up with someway to help.

“He said ‘cleaning grave sites,’” he said. “I think it would be nice for the community to have that.”

Caleb said that he was inspired to do the project because he really enjoys family history.

“I know there’s a lot of family members in unmarked graves out there so I want all the information to be in one place so everyone can use it,” he explained.

The interest in family history came from being a member of the LDS church.

“We believe we will all be resurrected in time and we want to make sure that everybody kind of knows what is going on,” he said. “We like to make connections with our family and know our past so we can do work via our church.”

Caleb’s mother, Annette, said that his grandparents are serving a family historical mission in Gilbert.

“They are heavily involved and passionate about family history,” she said. “My boys like hearing stories of the grandparents and great grandparents. I think as they learn more about their past it helps define who they are.”

Caleb brought over 20 members of the church out to help with his project.

Annette said that the members also helped rake at the edge of the cemetery, clean the gravestones and clean grass off the edge.

Arianna Grainey is a freelance photojournalist.

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