An online geaalogy colleague seeking who impressed me with his determination to learn about his family roots. Recently he posted a question about a relative whose remains had been sent to the University of Wisconsin. With a little searching of databases I found and pulled this relative’s obituary and death certificate.web.

The first notice of the November 1930 death of a man then unidentified. describes him; “Clad in overalls and an army overcoat, the man about 40 or 50 years old, was found in a manger in the stables where he had evidently gone to sleep. He had curled up in the feed box, his shoes off and overcoat drawn over him. It is believed he died of exposure.” The coroner’s report states the remains were given over to the Anatomy Department of the Univ. of Wisconsin.

As was the case for all physicians of my time my first patient was a cadaver, a man with no history and no headstone in his future. At the time and off and on since we all wonder but never take the time to find out the history of these martyrs to the better lives of others. Mostly they are the so called “losers” and “failures,” the misbegotten who are no longer connected to family or friends. I call them saviours.

If we are to be good shepherds we will know each of our flock. In so doing comes the recognition of kinship. We cannot afford to abandon one suffering soul, lest we be diminished by the loss.

Christmas Messsage