Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, May 15, 2016, pg. 9

A big thank you to everyone who voted in the special school annexation election on May 3. The overwhelming majority of the voters (71%) of the Albion Public School district made the right decision by voting a resounding "yes," with the vote being 1,528 "yes," and only 628 "no." That reminded me of Albionís motto: "Albion, the Smart Community." How true. We shall look forward to good things to come in the months ahead for the children of Albion and the quality of education they will be receiving, as well as the new exciting opportunities they will have. Watch for our Albion children to excel as part of the Marshall Public Schools system.

On Saturday, May 7 a group of hearty volunteers including yours truly fanned across Riverside Cemetery in Albion and placed flags on the graves of military service veterans interred therein. This is an annual ritual. It was begun in the late 19th century by members of the E.W. Hollingsworth Post No. 210 of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War veterans organization. As their comrades died off by the 1920s, the task of decorating the graves and placing flags on Decoration Day was passed on to the local boy scouts, and finally to our local Leo Hanlon Post No. 55 of the American Legion which handles the details and record keeping. Members of our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3672 also participate.

Take the time to stop at the Cemetery this week or next to view the flags on the graves of our deceased veterans. You may also see flags and markers on other tombstones. One special stone Iíd like to draw attention to is the resting place of one of Albionís heroes, Gary T. Rampy (1944-1971).

Gary grew up in Albion and was a 1962 graduate of Albion High School. A youthful photo of Gary is found on the cover of my book "Growing Up in Albion," standing in front of coach Jerry Sacharski as part of a group of boys ready to board a bus to travel to Detroit to watch the Detroit Tigers. Another photo of Gary is found on page 18 as part of a group of men being sworn in as members of Albionís Civil Defense and Auxiliary Police.

Gary chose law enforcement as his career, and eventually became a Michigan State Policeman, joining in May, 1966. He served in southwestern Michigan, finally settling at the New Buffalo post. He and a fellow officer were murdered during a routine traffic stop on the Red Arrow Highway near Union Pier on December 31, 1971.

The huge funeral held here in Albion the following week in January, 1972 included five tiers of police cars packing W. Erie St. in front of the Tidd-Williams Funeral Home. Ninety-eight police cars and 260 police officers from across the state and region led the funeral procession to Riverside Cemetery following the funeral.

Gary was laid to rest in Block 116, Lot 7, Grave 1 in Riverside Cemetery. This is just behind and to the right a bit of the grave of Washington Gardner. Every year at this time, a member of the Michigan State Police faithfully comes and places a new State of Michigan flag on Garyís marker.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Trooper Gary T. Rampy, and his gravesite in Riverside Cemetery. The State of Michigan flag is tattered and torn due to it flying for 12 months. Within the next week or two however it will be replaced with a fresh one from the Michigan State Police. I encourage our readers to visit the gravesite of Gary T. Rampy when you visit Riverside Cemetery during this Memorial Day season.

Trooper Gary T. Rampy (1944-1971)


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