Unclaimed veteran gets burial service four years after his death

Cremated remains to be buried alongside wife at veterans cemetery

NEAR HARWOOD, N.D. The Hanson Runsvold funeral home provided service for an unclaimed military veteran at the Fargo National Cemetery.

After serving in the Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948, Francis Kaufmann received military honors at his burial service at the Fargo National Cemetery.

The four year delay on Kaufmann’s burial process was due to a loss of paperwork.

“I know that years ago there had been a fire I believe in St. Louis with a lot of paperwork for military and I believe some military paperwork had gotten lost with several veterans,” Alison Webster who works in Decedent Affairs at the Fargo VA Medical Center said.

After Kaufmann’s passing at the VA hospital in Fargo in December of 2016, any effort to find next of kin came up blank.

“He had no living next of kin, his wife had passed away prior to his passing so he had no living next of kin and really nobody for us to contact,” Webster said.

As Kaufman’s apartment was being cleared out, the cremated remains of his wife Eileen Kaufmann were found. She died in 2001.

With no one to claim him at the service, Alison Webster who works at the VA medical center in Fargo wanted to pay her respects.

“I felt like he had died alone and didn’t have any family and I just felt he needed somebody there from the VA just to pay some respects and to be here in his honor,” Webster said.

While showing her condolences at the service, Webster was selected to receive Kaufmann’s burial flag as a symbol of appreciation of his honor.

“I’m just as surprised about all of this I had no idea that this was coming, I’m blown away I mean I had no idea I was getting this, but yeah it’s beautiful I’m very honored,” Webster said.


Categories: Local News, North Dakota News