The three women who have been spearheading the effort to maintain the East Union Cemetery while working to secure a state license so burial plots can once again be sold are being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.
The three are Janet Fiore, Janice Zacharias, and Gloria Stanley.
The induction ceremonies and dinner takes place Saturday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $65. They are available through the Boys & Girls Club, 545 Alameda St, or by calling 239-KIDS.
Other inductees in the Class of 2019 are Larry Lee Barnhizer, art; Chuck and Teri Palmer, special recognition; Frank C. Mello, agriculture; Vince Hernandez, education; Benjamin Edward Taylor, health care; Ken Sanders, community service; Senator Cathleen Galgiani, government; Kenneth Summers, business; and Georgiann Rose, at large.
The East Union Memorial Cemetery was incorporated on Jan. 15, 1877 and remains open to the public today. However, in 2008 the State of California yanked the cemetery’s license due to various issues. The state also froze the endowment fund and banned new plots from being sold although the state allowed burials to take place in plots bought prior to 2008.
Since there are no endowment funds to pay for maintenance and upkeep, the cemetery relies solely on volunteers.
At the cemetery’s annual meeting in 2003 Janice Zacharias and Gloria Stanley were asked to join the board. They were joined soon after by Janet Fiore.
Zacharias serves as president, Stanley as vice president/treasurer, and Fiore office manager/secretary. They receive no compensation.
In nominating them for the Manteca Hall of
Fame, former Councilman John Harris noted “for all intent and purposes these
three ladies have kept the day-to-day operations running smoothly.”
The three have worked closely with the state for the past four years in a bid to obtain a license. They recruited a cemetery manager who had to pass an exam as part of that process. A physical inspection is planned this spring by the state. If all is satisfactory, the cemetery will be issued a license and will be able to sell burial plots once again.
Fiore conducted research and identified 16 Civil War Union soldiers buried at the cemetery. They were given headstones and special recognition in ceremonies on April 14, 2018. Prior to that, they had no headstones.
A bequest by a generous resident in 2018 paid for a new wrought iron fence and roadway paving within the cemetery. The three have been closely supervising that project.
Besides reaching out to the community for volunteer labor for the upkeep of the cemetery they have organized an annual Pioneer Dinner to raise funds for upkeep and maintenance.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com