From Numbers to Names: Remembering Those Whose Graves Are Unmarked

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Family members who lost loved ones at the Fergus Falls State Hospital are getting closer.

A remembrance ceremony was held at the hospital’s cemetery.

Dating as far back as the early 1900’s, many of those who passed away at the Fergus Falls State Hospital went untraced.

Many of the patients were buried in unmarked graves.

Self-advocates Minnesota Northwest and  the Friends of the Fergus Falls State Hospital held a ceremony to help people find and remember those they have lost.
“I learned about the cemetery, and when I did I really felt compelled to bring awareness to people about the patients that were buried here, because everyone has a story. Everyone had a life before they came here,” says Romayne Klide, From Numbers to Names Artist.
Romayne Kilde created an art exhibit “From Numbers to Names” honoring 10 of the patients who have laid for years in unmarked graves.
The ceremony is a chance for family members to find and reflect on their loves ones as more than just a number.
Sandy Forjen’s great great grandfather was featured in the exhibit.

She had been searching for his grave for more than 30 years.
“Couldn’t find any records of his death where, when…anything. He disappeared from the face of the earth,” says Sandy.

After posting the picture on Find a, she met Romane, who was able to help connect the dots to her missing family tree.
“It’s been a wonderful experience I have to admit I probably went overboard, because I was so excited to find him it’s been 30 plus years,” says Sandy.
The ceremony is way for families to make sure that their loved ones are not forgotten.
If you are interested in finding or connecting with those who have lost loved ones at the State hospital you can click here.