Involvement key to preserving community
Those interested in a community's history could do worse than starting in its cemetery. There, a visitor would get a very good indication of when the area was first settled and the families that called it home through the years. The size of the monuments would give good indication of those who prospered -- a good starting place for discovering past leaders. A discerning eye could pick times of disease and the names of the community's sons who were lost in past wars.
Those who feel passionately about local cemeteries or local history are often those with family roots reaching back generations. They have an understandable interest in the resting places of their parents and grandparents and those further in the past perhaps amended by as many as four greats.
Tom Tucker, a relative newcomer to Eudora, is an example that this need not be the case. Tucker spearheaded an effort by the Eudora Lions Club to provide the Eudora City Cemetery a handsome new directory. That, in turn, stimulated interest in re-establishing traditional Memorial Day services at the cemetery.
It's been said that newcomers to small communities can stay strangers for decades or earn quick acceptance through service and involvement. As a two-year resident, Tucker offers proof of that adage. It is an important example of how community can be preserved in a rapidly growing city.