Bethel Cemetery graves get a clean up

By Theo Tate
Posted 9/8/21

Ron Knigge was concerned about the condition of the tombstones at Bethel Cemetery in Wellsville.

“I’ve been around here for 79 years and they have never been washed as far as I know …

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Bethel Cemetery graves get a clean up

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Ron Knigge was concerned about the condition of the tombstones at Bethel Cemetery in Wellsville.


“I’ve been around here for 79 years and they have never been washed as far as I know of,” said Knigge, who is a member of Bethel Methodist Church. “You couldn’t read them. They were so dark.”


So Knigge hired a Fulton-based powerwashing business called Shepherd’s Company to clean all of the dirty tombstones at the cemetery, which is located behind Bethel Methodist Church. It took three days to do it.


“We do quite a bit of work for Ron,” said Bret Strong, one of the workers. “We work on his house. We do his church and the fence. He wanted us to come out and clean the stones. So here we are.”


Strong and Tanner Smith washed the last 37 tombstones on Sept. 1. Strong said he’s pleased with the condition of all of the gravesites.


“I’m totally amazed by the outcome of it all,” said Strong, who lives in Fulton. “I had the expectations of a lot of them not coming clean as well to where you can read them. But we took care of them and they look tremendous. So I hope everybody who is laid to rest is happy with the tombstones. To see how dirty they were and to see how clean they are now is tremendous.”


Established in 1979, Shepherd’s Company provides other services such as deck staining and restoration, roof and gutter cleaning, concrete sealing, window cleaning, painting, wallpapering, construction and remodeling.


Smith, who lives in Jefferson City, said he goes out to cemeteries for his side job.


“I do military funerals,” said Smith, who has been working at Shepherd’s for three weeks. “So whenever a service member passes, I go up and present a hold, play Taps and lay the people to rest. This is a nice thing to actually clean up the cemetery.”

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