Jimmy Candelas was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Dori Rothenberger and a party from friends for his years of devoted volunteer service to the Beaver Dam Cemetery improvement projects that have turned the cemetery from a once deserted and depressing place to someplace that is warm and welcoming to visitors who can now sit and visit with their dearly departed relatives. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Jimmy Candelas, a volunteer and Beaver Dam resident, has been handling things at the Beaver Dam Cemetery for 12 years and on Thursday, Nov. 7 the gang at the Dam Bar said goodbye with a party that seemed to bring out the entire town and tons of gratitude.

Candelas initiated the cemetery project years ago when he was coming out of the post office and ran into a woman he knew; she was crying. Candelas asked her what was wrong, and she began telling him of the sad and disastrous condition of the Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Candelas went to look himself and was not happy with the sights he was seeing. He said it looked depressing, unkempt and unloved. He set out to change that.

Candelas and several area residents took charge and began making some much-needed improvements. They began with paining the flagpole and installing a light so the flag could be illuminated at night; without one they would have to raise and lower the flag daily.

Fences were mended and painted, gravel was laid, roads were semi-paved, seats and benches were put in place and Memorials honoring the five branches of the service were built and now stand proudly to the side of the flag.

The cemetery is now a welcoming place and Candelas, who waters and cares for the cemetery daily, says there isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t see a visitor come by and pay their respects to the family and friends who rest in eternal peace on top of the hill overlooking Beaver Dam.

Candelas is moving to Las Vegas and will no longer be caring for the dearly departed of Beaver Dam.

Family and friends of relatives past are eternally grateful to you for your years of unconditional love and service to all who lay at rest in peace and beauty thanks to you.