Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Twin hearts and a 45-year love story ...

I wrote a little about the 45-year love story of Ed Dawson and Cliff Jensen last October in a piece entitled "Longtime companions" a day or two after Cliff's ashes had been interred next to Ed's grave in the Chariton Cemetery.

Ed was a 1960 graduate of Chariton High School who, after a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, moved to Chicago and studied computer science. He went to work for General Electric and by 1993, when he died at age 50, had risen through the ranks to the position of production comptroller for that corporation.

Some 20 years earlier, he had met Cliff, a designer, and they settled down together in Elmwood Park, Illinois. After Ed's death, Cliff continued to live in their Elmwood Park home and remained involved in the life of Ed's widowed mother, Genevieve, until her death during 2007. Ed had been an only child.

Cliff died during 2018 at the age of 77 and it was left to his sister, Jacky Rakstang, to handle final arrangements in accordance with his wishes. Among many other things, that involved arranging for his ashes to be interred in the spot set aside for them just south of Ed's grave in the Chariton Cemetery.

Earlier this month, I noticed that the foundation had been installed for Cliff's tombstone, then last week it was put into place --- a heart-shaped monument that's nearly a twin to the stone he'd placed at Ed's grave 28 years earlier. That stone bears the inscription, "Precious Memories"; the new stone, "Partners: Together Forever."

So there you have it --- a 45-year love story commemorated in twin hearts. 

The following image of Ed and Cliff was taken during a trip to Switzerland in 1987 and is now part of the Lucas County Historical Society collection.

No comments: