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-   -   Explain this headstone to me (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=526396)

Hampshire 07-30-2009 12:18 PM

Explain this headstone to me
 
I was at the cemetary today and was wandering around some of the new gravesites and headstones and ran across this odd one and have no idea what it means:
______________________
Roberta J Lukanen
-STILL-
RITUALLY
MUTILATED

July 19, 1945 -
______________________


Looks like she hasn't passed away yet but got the headstone ahead of time.
I know about the controversial female ritual mutilations in other countries and maybe she was affected by this but it seems a very odd thing (and the only thing) to put on a headstone.

Any insight?

bup 07-30-2009 12:22 PM

Possibly it means she was stillborn? Does any culture ritually mutilate stillborn children?

Bayard 07-30-2009 12:25 PM

Is she the same person who shows up in this record of amateur radio operator licenses? I guess you could contact her and ask, but I'd be too weirded out to actually do it.

Hampshire 07-30-2009 12:27 PM

I thought about the stillborn part but I looked her name up and she still lives at a local address.

Hampshire 07-30-2009 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bayard (Post 11393739)
Is she the same person who shows up in this record of amateur radio operator licenses? I guess you could contact her and ask, but I'd be too weirded out to actually do it.

I believe that's her. She lives in St.Louis Park and the cemetary is in Brooklyn Center about 10 miles away.

Zsofia 07-30-2009 12:30 PM

When we were down at my parents' house in Fernandina Beach, we looked around the cemeteries and found a Charles Angel, Assassinated (date) - I think the date was something like 1895 or so. We never did find out what was up with that.

lobotomyboy63 07-30-2009 12:32 PM

Her DOB is just post WWII, name sounds German. The name may not be the one she was born with. Possibly caught in the recriminations (on her family) that followed, like Anastasia?

Freudian Slit 07-30-2009 12:39 PM

I'm dying to know. Please, please, ask her!

Johnny L.A. 07-30-2009 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zsofia (Post 11393754)
When we were down at my parents' house in Fernandina Beach, we looked around the cemeteries and found a Charles Angel, Assassinated (date) - I think the date was something like 1895 or so. We never did find out what was up with that.

Not much out there. I found this:
Quote:

Looking for information on Emil Friend, Norwalk, Ohio. Father was John Friend, Mother was Maia Aeye (Ulrich) Friend. Emil had a sister Caroline Bertha Philippine (Friend) Angel, Who was married to Charles Angel, they lived in Fernandina Beach, Florida, (on Amelia Island, FLA). Emil was my Grandmother's (Elizabeth Angel Starke) uncle. Would like information on Emil and family for family tree.
I wonder if anyone could search newspapers from Amelia Island around that timeframe?

PoorYorick 07-30-2009 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zsofia (Post 11393754)
When we were down at my parents' house in Fernandina Beach, we looked around the cemeteries and found a Charles Angel, Assassinated (date) - I think the date was something like 1895 or so. We never did find out what was up with that.

I don't know if this adds anything to the discussion, but from reading newspaper accounts from around 1865, "assassinated" seems to be sometimes synonymous with the more mundane "murdered." Also, several newspaper accounts from that time used "assassination" for attempted murder, not necessarily the actual death itself, such as, "So-and-so assassinated, but expected to survive." I had to read it a couple of times the first time I saw it.

Zsofia 07-30-2009 01:35 PM

We meant to ask them at the local history museum, but we forgot about it.

ratatoskK 07-30-2009 01:45 PM

I wold bet the caretaker of the cemetery knows the story.

pulykamell 07-30-2009 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 (Post 11393760)
Her DOB is just post WWII, name sounds German.

Looks to me like a Finnish name, personally, possibly a corruption of Liikanen.

Bayard 07-30-2009 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. (Post 11393822)
I wonder if anyone could search newspapers from Amelia Island around that timeframe?

One of my favorite websites. They have a link to here, which has free, searchable archives of some Florida papers.

I frequently get sucked in to hours of meandering through those old newspapers.

aruvqan 07-30-2009 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hampshire (Post 11393711)
I was at the cemetary today and was wandering around some of the new gravesites and headstones and ran across this odd one and have no idea what it means:
______________________
Roberta J Lukanen
-STILL-
RITUALLY
MUTILATED

July 19, 1945 -
______________________


Looks like she hasn't passed away yet but got the headstone ahead of time.
I know about the controversial female ritual mutilations in other countries and maybe she was affected by this but it seems a very odd thing (and the only thing) to put on a headstone.

Any insight?

Well, about the only thing that pops to mind would be if she was actually born into a group that practiced female circumcision. Because someone was born Roberta Mgabe doesnt mean she couldnt have married some guy named Lukanen and emmigrated.

Although .... are not jews forbidden to be tattooed? and couldnt she be a survivor of one of the camps, and hence 'ritually unclean' because of the tat?

Argent Towers 07-30-2009 05:13 PM

Could it be that she is some kind of activist against ritual mutilation? And wanted her tombstone to bear a message about it? Like, "Women are STILL ritually mutilated" - which would explain the "STILL" part. She wanted to spread this message even after she was dead?

Kimmy_Gibbler 07-30-2009 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aruvqan (Post 11394727)
Although .... are not jews forbidden to be tattooed? and couldnt she be a survivor of one of the camps, and hence 'ritually unclean' because of the tat?

Not if she was born in July of 1945, which is a couple months after V-E Day.

The Great Sun Jester 07-30-2009 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Argent Towers (Post 11394883)
Could it be that she is some kind of activist against ritual mutilation? And wanted her tombstone to bear a message about it? Like, "Women are STILL ritually mutilated" - which would explain the "STILL" part. She wanted to spread this message even after she was dead?

If she is some kind of activist then she's a pretty stupid one because her message is too vague to convey meaning even under close scrutiny. Maybe she's with PETA and she has something against wool? MUTilated, MUTtin? etc?

GilaB 07-30-2009 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aruvqan (Post 11394727)
Although .... are not jews forbidden to be tattooed? and couldnt she be a survivor of one of the camps, and hence 'ritually unclean' because of the tat?

The idea that Jews with tattoos can't be buried in Jewish cemeteries is a myth. (Tattoos aren't permitted by Jewish law, but that has nothing to do with ritual uncleanliness, and anyway, ritual uncleanliness is mostly irrelevant since the destruction of the Temple two millenia ago.) Also, in Jewish law, one is not held responsible for acts committed against one's will, like being tattooed by Nazis.

lynndavis 07-11-2014 09:28 PM

Roberta's other grave marker
 
I was walking at the Crystal lake Cemetery and a grave marker caught my eye as it had so much writing on it:

The Censored Marker of
ROBERTA J. LUKANEN
Can be viewed at
MOUND CEMETERY
69th Avenue North at Palmer Lake Drive
Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Section 3 Block 18 Lot 1 Grave 2

I will be checking this out. More to come.

Isilder 07-11-2014 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lynndavis (Post 17540393)
I was walking at the Crystal lake Cemetery and a grave marker caught my eye as it had so much writing on it:

The Censored Marker of
ROBERTA J. LUKANEN
Can be viewed at
MOUND CEMETERY
69th Avenue North at Palmer Lake Drive
Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Section 3 Block 18 Lot 1 Grave 2

I will be checking this out. More to come.

Google now reports a DOD in various databases.

http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/ss...DC28B0EE488E78
http://death-records.findthebest.com...a-Jean-Lukanen

buckgully 07-11-2014 10:06 PM

This is beautifully weird.

So it's the headstone that was ritually mutilated, not the person? And instead of just chiseling something out, they actually chiseled in 'ritually mutilated'? Perhaps they were dictating?

I wasn't able to find Roberta, but I did find Charles Angel on findagrave.com:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...706158&df=all&

Isilder 07-11-2014 10:24 PM

According to Mundia (free at the moment, soon to go commercial as part of Ancestry.com)

Her parents where Oscar Edwin Lukanen, and Mildred Sigrid Mattson .

Other Lukanen people just look caucasian, and I found a few that emigrated from Germany (to Australia.)

I thought perhaps the Pitkaaho surname was African.. no its Finnish.


Mildred Mattson's parents born in Finland - Anna Greta Kreita Pitkaaho emigrated to Minnesota with Charles Mattson.

"Father, Charles (Sulasalmi) Mattson, born in Kuusamo, Finland and her mother, Anna Greta (Pitkaaho) Mattson, born in Pulkila Oulun Laani, Finland, worked the family farm in New York Mills, MN. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold Carl, her 13 siblings, Alden, Edna, Edward, Emil, Fred, Lillian, Mary, Martha, Mildred *Our subject*, Sarah, Sophia, Walfred, Wilma and her parents"

Sulasalmi is just a Finnish surname.

Karen Lingel 07-14-2014 07:26 PM

Sounds kinda like an art installation -- gravestones with cryptic messages in cemeteries all over town. Sounds like something an artist would do.

runningdude 07-14-2014 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hampshire (Post 11393711)
I was at the cemetary today and was wandering around some of the new gravesites and headstones and ran across this odd one and have no idea what it means:
______________________
Roberta J Lukanen
-STILL-
RITUALLY
MUTILATED

July 19, 1945 -
______________________


Looks like she hasn't passed away yet but got the headstone ahead of time.
I know about the controversial female ritual mutilations in other countries and maybe she was affected by this but it seems a very odd thing (and the only thing) to put on a headstone.

Any insight?

I think it means a still born child was also buried in the plot, in addition to Ms. Lukanen eventual occupancy. There is a tradition is Judiasm to circumcise a Jewish male post-mortem if he hadn't already. The child may have been Jewish, and the stone specifies this for the record.

("Ritually mutilated" seems to be common phrase in Europe but not in the United States - http://community.beliefnet.com/go/th...ally_mutilated - I haven't really heard of the term before today)

Chronos 07-14-2014 08:48 PM

Is "ritually mutilated" a term that would be used by a practicing Jew, though? While it might be accurate in denotation, the word "mutilation" has strong negative connotations, that I doubt a person would use for their own religion's practices.

davidm 07-14-2014 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lynndavis (Post 17540393)
I was walking at the Crystal lake Cemetery and a grave marker caught my eye as it had so much writing on it:

The Censored Marker of
ROBERTA J. LUKANEN
Can be viewed at
MOUND CEMETERY
69th Avenue North at Palmer Lake Drive
Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Section 3 Block 18 Lot 1 Grave 2

I will be checking this out. More to come.

I wonder if this other marker (at Mound Cemetery) is the one described in the OP, or a third one.

According to his profile, Hampshire's last activity was today so he's still around, maybe he can tell us.

Hampshire 07-14-2014 09:16 PM

Yes, the one the Crystal Lake cemetary refers to (Mound Cemetary) is the one I originally saw in the OP. I haven't looked at it since I wrote the OP back in 2009 so I went back there today (it's a few blocks from where I work). The only addition to the marker is that it now has the date of passing, Feb. 2, 2010.

davidm 07-14-2014 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by runningdude (Post 17547741)
I think it means a still born child was also buried in the plot, in addition to Ms. Lukanen eventual occupancy. There is a tradition is Judiasm to circumcise a Jewish male post-mortem if he hadn't already. The child may have been Jewish, and the stone specifies this for the record.

("Ritually mutilated" seems to be common phrase in Europe but not in the United States - http://community.beliefnet.com/go/th...ally_mutilated - I haven't really heard of the term before today)

This explanation would seem to make sense, except for that other headstone referencing this one. That adds a whole new level of weirdness to it.

Soylent Juicy 07-15-2014 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hampshire (Post 17547959)
Yes, the one the Crystal Lake cemetary refers to (Mound Cemetary) is the one I originally saw in the OP. I haven't looked at it since I wrote the OP back in 2009 so I went back there today (it's a few blocks from where I work). The only addition to the marker is that it now has the date of passing, Feb. 2, 2010.

(Bolding mine.) That's kind of.....melancholy.

robert_columbia 07-15-2014 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buckgully (Post 17540484)
This is beautifully weird.

So it's the headstone that was ritually mutilated, not the person? And instead of just chiseling something out, they actually chiseled in 'ritually mutilated'? Perhaps they were dictating?...

Christ Church Episcopal in Alexandria, Virginia has some gravestones that were defaced by the US Army during the Civil War. Specifically, apparently bored occupying soldiers added '1's to ages at death, so instead of saying e.g. "John Williams born 1780 died age 63", it now says "John Williams born 1780 died age 163". I asked a priest why they didn't repair the graves, and they said that what was already done was history, and that anyone who is curious can walk in and ask what is up with the graves.

Hampshire 07-15-2014 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by runningdude (Post 17547741)
I think it means a still born child was also buried in the plot, in addition to Ms. Lukanen eventual occupancy. There is a tradition is Judiasm to circumcise a Jewish male post-mortem if he hadn't already. The child may have been Jewish, and the stone specifies this for the record.

If there was a still born baby in that plot then it was either transfered there from some other site or maybe some kind of urn. The gravesite w/marker was brand new as of 2009 and Roberta would have been 54 at the time.

The only other info I could find about her was that she was a ham radio operator.
FCC license

Steken 07-15-2014 11:51 AM

I'm guessing crazy person.

More likely than artist or activist, I think.

Knowed Out 07-15-2014 12:56 PM

This book says clitoridectomies were performed by gynecologists into the 1960s to treat hysteria, erotomania and lesbianism. Maybe she she went through a period of rebellion in 1945 and some quack told her parents that this procedure would calm her down?

Steken 07-15-2014 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knowed Out (Post 17549758)
This book says clitoridectomies were performed by gynecologists into the 1960s to treat hysteria, erotomania and lesbianism. Maybe she she went through a period of rebellion in 1945 and some quack told her parents that this procedure would calm her down?

That would explain the "mutilated." What about "ritually"?

Come to think of it, what about "still"?

RivkahChaya 07-15-2014 01:18 PM

Is it possible that this is some kind of reference to satanic ritual abuse? Is this a person with recovered [false] memories she still believes to be true, who was denied her day in court, or possibly took her "abuser" to civil court and lost, and still has a grudge? I know it would make more sense for the stone to say "ritually abused," but if she has any kind scar that she attributes to the abuse, she might use the term "mutilated," because, you know, more loaded word. Or maybe she means emotionally mutilated. People in the recovered memory camp can get pretty worked up.

I don't think -still- means a stillborn baby, because babies that were stillborn, or died very soon after birth, and not named, usually have markers that say "infant." I used to like poking around old cemeteries, and I've seen a sadly high number of "infant" stones, but never one "still," "stillborn," or anything like that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GilaB (Post 11395292)
The idea that Jews with tattoos can't be buried in Jewish cemeteries is a myth. (Tattoos aren't permitted by Jewish law, but that has nothing to do with ritual uncleanliness, and anyway, ritual uncleanliness is mostly irrelevant since the destruction of the Temple two millenia ago.) Also, in Jewish law, one is not held responsible for acts committed against one's will, like being tattooed by Nazis.

Having a tattoo forced on you against your will is not the same thing as acquiring one willingly. It's the same difference as having a scar from an accident or surgery, and having decorative, or ritual scarring. Even if a particular Jewish cemetery did have a policy against not burying people with voluntary tattoos, it would not deny burial to a camp survivor. The only reason I can think that a cemetery might have that rule is that some red inks for tattoos contain iron oxide, anyway, and I don't think the Germans used that.

zev_steinhardt 07-15-2014 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 17549851)
The only reason I can think that a cemetery might have that rule is that some red inks for tattoos contain iron oxide, anyway, and I don't think the Germans used that.

How about ignorance of halacha? (i.e. the cemetery administrators believe that someone tattooed cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery.)

Zev Steinhardt

RivkahChaya 07-15-2014 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zev_steinhardt (Post 17549989)
How about ignorance of halacha? (i.e. the cemetery administrators believe that someone tattooed cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery.)

Zev Steinhardt

Sure, that. I've met synagogue presidents, and even one rabbi, who were ignorant of this. Why not the cemetery administrator? I did have someone actually say that it depended whether an iron based ink was used-- you know, coffin can't have metal nail, so your tattoo can't have metal ink-- this, despite the fact that I've never heard of a chevra kaddisha pulling teeth with amalgam fillings.

Keeve 07-15-2014 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 17547873)
Is "ritually mutilated" a term that would be used by a practicing Jew, though? While it might be accurate in denotation, the word "mutilation" has strong negative connotations, that I doubt a person would use for their own religion's practices.

But if the child rejected the religion or the practices of the parent, then I can easily see the child using those words.

RivkahChaya 07-15-2014 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keeve (Post 17550070)
But if the child rejected the religion or the practices of the parent, then I can easily see the child using those words.

It's a woman's stone, so I doubt it has anything to do with Jewish circumcision. What was proposed was that the woman whose name is on the stone gave birth to a stillborn boy, and had him circumcised, then described it as "ritually mutilated" on the stone. That seems unlikely.

I'm starting to lean toward performance art or viral advertising. If so, and it has anything to do with female genital mutilation, it's already better than the screaming Venus cake.

If there's any doubt a cemetery would allow this, a cemetery let Penn and Teller put up an "Is this your card?" headstone.

Gatopescado 07-15-2014 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hampshire (Post 17547959)
The only addition to the marker is that it now has the date of passing, Feb. 2, 2010.

Looks like we missed our chance to solve this mystery.

davidm 07-15-2014 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 17550415)
Looks like we missed our chance to solve this mystery.

Not necessarily. The one at Crystal Lake Cemetery is unusual enough that someone who works there may know something about it. Perhaps lynndavis can ask.

I'm thinking that "censored" may have some other meaning in this context. Crystal Lake Cemetery does have a few Lukanens.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...1&GScid=82139&

Maybe the marker referencing the grave at Mound Cemetery was placed there because she couldn't be buried in Crystal Lake with her family for some reason (she was "censored").

Isilder 07-15-2014 06:05 PM

Perhaps she is labelling infant genital "correction" as erroneous as "genital mutilation" and thus uses the most severe label.

susan 07-15-2014 06:23 PM

A local newspaper might know the story.

jnglmassiv 07-15-2014 07:01 PM

This really defies belief.
Actually, I think it is more like unbelievable.
Inconceivable, even.

A female ham radio operator?
Get out.

Ok, perhaps a minor exaggeration.

Maybe she had a leg or something amputated and bought a plot and marker at that time to have it buried. Dunno about the Ritually or the Still, though.

Perhaps contact the funeral home from the public death notices? I would ask to speak with the person who handled the services for Roberta. Don't give the reason for the call until you get that person since they probably won't follow up with you otherwise.

If that doesn't work, call the local headstone engraving (heh) outfit(s).
They'll probably remember this one.

joyfool 07-15-2014 07:14 PM

If she was Romano, perhaps it had something to do with that and someone's awful reaction to such?

davidm 07-15-2014 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by faithfool (Post 17551032)
If she was Romano, perhaps it had something to do with that and someone's awful reaction to such?

What is Romano?

RivkahChaya 07-15-2014 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 17551104)
What is Romano?

I'm assuming that's Roma, or Romany, formerly known as "gypsy."

If it's a Jewish cemetery, it could be a limb, or even an organ, as you are supposed to bury those-- when my aunt had a leg amputated, she had it buried in the Jewish cemetery. That still makes the inscription a little odd, unless she thinks she lost the organ or limb due to malpractice, and is choosing to describe it that way.

joyfool 07-15-2014 09:49 PM

Damn. Yes, Roma. Stupid auto-correct.

Hampshire 07-15-2014 09:52 PM

The Mound Cemetery has a website and a contact for the cemetery manager. I'm tempted to email him and ask him about it.


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