Oldest cemetery in Lufkin gets renovated - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Oldest cemetery in Lufkin gets renovated

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source; KTRE Staff Source; KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

Keltys, the oldest cemetery in Lufkin, has been left to the elements since the 1980s, but is getting a much needed makeover.

Lufkin resident Bill Royle came to find the grave of a distant relative, when he saw the vandalism on other gravestones and decided to do something about it. 

"I came out to find her grave in Keltys Cemetery, and it was covered in brush and limbs," Royle said. " And, I couldn't find it. Then I looked at the cemetery to realize that somewhere, within these last ten years, it has been hugely vandalized, by not just kids pushing over tall monuments, but people beating the monuments with bricks to tear them up."

Lufkin City Councilman Robert Shankle has been involved with this renovation and said that the cemetery has been special to many for a long time. 

"And, they thought it was fun to come and vandalize something that was precious to everyone else, that they shouldn't be messing with because it's very sacred," Shankle said.

Thousands of dollars in funding came from an anonymous donor who wished to see the cemetery restored. 

"For Mr. Royle to come back and get the funding to get, you know, a lot of these headstones erected and where you can read them," Shankle said. "It's going to bring much joy to the family and back to the community."

Royle's dream for this cemetery has just begun.

"So excited that we've got a start and pretty soon we will have it ready," Royle said.

The Neighborhoods Leadership Council of North Lufkin is currently working on getting easier access to the cemetery. 

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