Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holy Rosary Funeral Mass for Jacqueline Dee Grediagin

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett

The Funeral for Jacqueline Dee Grediagin, the sister of JD Bennis, was January 19, 2010. Jacqueline was born September 6, 1964 and died January 13, 2010.

During the middle of winter, preparation for a funeral is tremendous, especially when the temperature is hovering around zero.

There was a couple feet of snow on the ground and it had to be cleared before the Bennis family could start to dig Jacqueline’s grave. Friday, January 15th, shortly after hearing of the death of his sister, JD Bennis plowed the road leading to the Holy Rosary Cemetary and then cleared away snow from the grave site.

When the ground is frozen, special equipment has to be brought in to break it up and dig it out. The Bennis family and friends arrived early Monday morning, while it was still dark outside, to begin the process. Here are a few pictures.

Family and friends of Jacqueline begin to gather in the dark at Holy Rosary Cemetery. They have a big job ahead of them.

The heavy equipment is set up.

JD Bennis and a friend inspect the progress of the breaking up of the frozen ground.

The machinery continues to break up the ground before it can be scooped out and loaded onto a large ground cloth.

Jacqueline’s body had to be flown in from Anchorage on Evert's Air Cargo. She arrived Monday Morning while the Bennis family was digging the grave site. They went to the Dillingham Airport about 10:00 AM and loader the casket into the back of a Toyota pickup, then drove the short quarter mile to Holy Rosary parish, backed up to the church, and unloaded the casket onto a casket stand, which was ready just inside the church doors.

Below, the casket is moved from the back of the pick-up into the chruch.

The following is the program used for Jackie's Funeral Mass. Please click on the picture to make it larger.

After the funeral Mass, mourners line up for the short procession to the Holy Rosary Cemetery. The processional cross went first, carried by Josh our altar server, then came me, then the casket, the family was next, then the rest of the mourners.

Jacqueline's body is then carried and rested on the planks over the grave.

The ropes are threaded through the sides of the casket, the planks are pulled out, and the casket is slowly lowered into the ground.

After the grave side service (the sprinkling of Holy Water to bless the grave site and the prayers), Esther throws the first handful of dirt into the grave.

The pallbearers offer a shovel full of dirt as mourners approach. It is customary for everyone to throw a handful of dirt on the deceased.

People chip in and cover up the grave.

Afterward a potluck was held at the Senior center. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Jacqueline Dee Grediagin. May she rest in peace!


Unknown said...

i like the pictures

Lynn Grediagn Gattis said...

This is a beautiful and so fitting for such a beautiful person like Jackie. She is in peace now and will always be missed.

Charles (Chuck) Grediagin said...

I will truly love and miss Jackie for the rest of my life... Thank you (Jackie's friends and family) for the respect that you have shown her.

Holy Rosary Mission said...

Thank you for your comments. I hope this blog helps bring you more closure and peace. Fr. Scott

msroque said...

Father, thank you for posting this. The Bennis family is our 'adopted' Dillingham family & we live in Seattle now & were unable to make the services. One friend described Jackie D as the "Belle of the Fish Camp"... and that's my memory of her. God bless her family and children.

Ramon & Cindy Roque
Seattle, WA

Mary Jane Blankinship Davis said...

I am a very long time friend of Jackie and Chuck. I knew of Jackie's hardships and have tried unsuccessfully to keep in touch with her. I occasionally search the obits hoping I don't find her. I was searching today and discovered she had in fact lost the battle and had gone home to be with the Lord. I am so saddened by the news. I loved her so much. She was the Maid of Honor at my wedding. I never got to see her after 1989 but thought of her often. She was such a kind, loving, and very funny friend. She has touched my life in a way that I will never be the same. I am grateful I found the site describing the Holy Rosary Funeral Mass for Jackie and all the pictures. It was a great comfort to me after just finding out she had died months ago. All of Jackie's family are in my thoughts and prayer. I love you Jackie and I WILL see you again.