Jarrod Maher

Funeral Service

     There are varying reports in the papers about the memorial services for Jarrod.  I thought I would fill you in a little on what I observed.  (reported by Margaret Laughlin)

    The rosary service and visitation service was held at St. Patrick Church in Imogene on Friday evening at 7PM.  The main street of our four-block square town and the street coming to the church were lined with American flags as was the sign on the highway leading into town.  The altars and altar rail were decorated with bouquets of mainly red, white and blue flowers.  The flag-draped coffin (open) was in the center aisle before the altar.  The family greeted mourners in the center aisle of the church.  A contingent of Marines sat in the first pew of the church.  Approximately 500 people attended the rosary.  One of Jarrod's former teachers gave a wonderful eulogy and two Legion members presented the family with the gold star (flag).  A steady stream of mourners continued after the rosary.  Funeral services (Mass - 3 priests) were at 10:30AM in the Shenandoah High School gym - 10 miles from Imogene. 

   One newspaper report said about 750 were in attendance.  I know there were to be 450 chairs on the floor of the gym and the bleachers were almost full so I would tend to agree with another report that there were more like 900-1,000 in attendance.  The entire gloomy week turned into a beautiful Saturday.  Temperatures were in the 40's with a 20mph wind - still nicer than a rainy or snowy day.  A slide show of pictures preceded the service.  A three-page eulogy written by Jarrod's father was read at the service by a cousin.  Musical selections included On Eagle's Wings, Be Not Afraid, Amazing Grace and God Bless America.  Jarrod's three brothers and three Marines were Casket Bearers.

   The funeral procession proceeded from the high school, through the west end of Shenandoah and 8 miles north and 2 miles west to Mount Calvary Cemetery.  Businesses along the highway had tributes on their marquees and people lined the streets with signs and flags.  The Shenandoah fire department had two ladder trucks at the edge of town with an American flag draped across the highway.  A bit farther north a boom truck also held an American flag.  Along the highway, residents displayed flags, patriotic pennants & pinwheels and flowers on houses and barns.  Clusters of people were along the route, especially at every intersection. 

    The funeral procession, led by a limousine with American flags on the aerials, was 5 miles long.  The family rode in limousines behind the hearse.  Just as the procession turned west, Jarrod's home could be seen in the distance.  As mourners passed the turnoff to his home, the American and Marine flags could be seen waving before his home.  Just as the procession topped a hill before the cemetery the tips of flags could be seen in the distance. 

    Jarrod's dad is one of three men who always put up about 25 large American flags on poles in Mount Calvary Cemetery each Memorial Day.  Two volunteers helped the two regulars to install the flags that morning.  The Imogene and Essex fire trucks were parked by the entrance to and exit from the cemetery and the firemen, in gear, directed traffic.

   The flag in front of the cemetery was at half staff.  Many of the cars in the procession and those parked along the way had small American flags on their car antenna.  Our monthly local paper had provided these in Jarrod's memory.  The procession turned into the cemetery, the flags lined both sides of the roadway almost to the burial place at the far end of the cemetery next to a large Calvary statue.  Two funeral tents were set up just west of the statue.  A large, large crowd gathered in and around the tent.  Many others stood along the roadway.  After final prayers, recitation of the Our Father, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps, the services for Jarrod ended at about 1:45PM.  250 returned to St. Patrick Church for a dinner.  There was a table of memorabilia in the hall as well as videos of Jarrod's life.  One special picture was of the memorial service held in Iraq for Jarrod.  The family received this picture on Friday morning. 

 Jim & Teresa Kearney, who buried their son only 10 days earlier, were at all the services. 


~ transcribed and submitted by Margaret Laughlin