West Allis Honey Creek cemetarian finds value in honoring the dead

A West Allis woman saw the tombstones at Honey Creek Cemetery falling into disrepair, and she took it upon herself to do something about it, applying to serve as the volunteer cemetarian. You can help Lois Pocian honor the dead. 

Lois Pocian sets her own hours and is her own boss. Her office is full of those who have passed.

"Sometimes I do a lot," said Pocian. "Sometimes I don’t."

Her title is cemetarian of the Honey Creek Cemetery. 

"I enjoy caring for everybody that’s buried here," said Pocian. 

There are more than 500 grave sites at the West Allis cemetery. Pocian noticed the cemetery was gravely damaged, and she took it upon herself to do something about it. 

"Tipped tombstones, broken tombstones, tombstones that you couldn’t read," said Pocian. 

With no one visiting the tombstones, time left them in disrepair. That left Pocian restless, so she applied and was accepted as the volunteer cemetarian.

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"People look at cemeteries as a bunch of dead people in there, and to me, it’s like a book at each grave," said Pocian. 

Pocian has buried herself in the work, from cleaning the headstones to pulling sunken ones out of the ground.

"We pulled this apart, and now, we’re going to try to lift this out and fill it in a little bit to get it raised up a little," said Pocian. 

Pocian said she hopes to raise enough money to fully restore the markers and tombstones, but she can't do it alone, although she thinks there is some help already present.

"I just think there’s some kind of help coming to me, whether or not it’s accurate or not," said Pocian. "I think everyone in here is probably pleased that I’m taking the ball and trying to run with it."

Pocian locks up at the end of her shift, hoping over time, she'll find help above ground.

Pocian said she's always looking for help, whether that be volunteers or ideas, but she said her biggest challenge is money. She has set up a GoFundMe.com account to help raise funds for her work.