Friday, August 3, 2012

Funeral Card Friday - A Mysterious Card

I visited my sister in Iowa last weekend and had a great time.  Before I left she passed on to me 4 Funeral/Memorial Cards that were in a Bible that had been given to her. Two were for my 2nd great aunts, Catherine and Mary Quirk; one was a memorial card for President Kennedy (different than the one I'd previously posted); and then there was a card for Joseph J. Skernolis.

I have no ideas who this young man was.  It's not a name I recognize from my family tree and as the card was from 1963 and my family still (to the best of my knowledge and research to date) hadn't begun marrying outside their Irish ethnicity yet, I doubt he is in my family tree.  He was 19 when he died, but that's all I know.  Was he a student they knew?  A friend of the family's?  More likely than not he fits into one of those 2 categories.

I can't find anything online about him (just on Find A Grave) and since I'm now farther away from Pennsylvania than I have been in awhile, there is no visit home in my immediate future.  There are some things that I could do from a distance to find him, but since I've narrowed it down to him not being a member of the family I don't think I'll be wasting resources looking.  I'll wait until next summer and if I get back home, I'll pull his obituary and visit his grave.  Perhaps I'll get lucky and come across someone that knew young Joseph before then and will be able to fill in the blanks and let me know his story.

UPDATE:  Amazing how that happens isn't it?  I Google-searched Joseph last night before posting this and Find A Grave was the only thing that popped up.  After posting, I decided to Google again and a post on an Ancestry message board came up (didn't come up when I searched Ancestry...hmmmm).  Joseph was not a member of my family's church, but the information posted on his death (not a full obituary) said that he was a pianist.  I wonder if my grandmother Mary Quirk may have known him.  She was a music teacher.  Come to think of it, my mother may have known him.  He was around her age.