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Rucker family thanks community for help

I want to thank our Ernest Righetti High School and Santa Maria Valley community for all of your support, prayers, donations and hard work on behalf of the John E. Rucker family, Margaret, Daniel, Michael and Katy.

John’s tragic death, coming after over 20 years of service to science students at Righetti, has been a difficult time for everyone involved. Because of parents, teachers, staff, former and current students, we were able to provide the Celebration of Life Reception where we served close to 300 people a Santa Maria-style luncheon and were able to share in memories and stories together as a community on Jan. 14.

So whether I called on you personally to help, you volunteered because of Margaret or the kids, or you just knew Mr. Rucker as a great teacher in your recent (or not so recent) past, please know that your help, work, donation, prayers and other efforts did NOT go unappreciated!

Special thanks to businesses/groups in our community who either offered or provided discounts/donations (or the physical work to make it happen) in order to provide this celebration at no cost to the family.

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To honor John, please feel free to continue donations to Wells Fargo’s “John E. Rucker Memorial Fund” to be utilized by the family for expenses as they finish up their school year without John’s support.

Donations to Mission Hope Cancer Center, City of Hope or other cancer research donations in Mr. Rucker’s name are also welcome.

Jennifer Dolan

For the Rucker family 

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Burial sites radar search

I am overwhelmed by the response to the article in your paper and thank you for a job well done. Also, thanks to everyone who sent messages.

I want to clarify that I do not know what the ground-penetrating radar study is going to find. It is unlikely a definitive count of souls will come out of it.

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About 10 percent of burials have markers. An area in back has nothing but grass and should be surveyed for later burials. I have no evidence to support or deny it, but hope the survey will assist in solving some of that mystery. There is an area outside the wall that will be surveyed to find out if there are possible burials there.

Some years ago, an archaeological dig found the remains of the soldier's quarters. More recently, a radar survey located footings of the Chumash living quarters in the back field, a digital image of which is on display in the museum.

What we will do in preparation is measure the walled-off area and again count the entries in the burial registers for that time period. Hopefully, using the survey, measurements and entries, we can get a better estimate of the people whose final resting place is there. If anything additional is found, we will be delighted.

Sheila Benedict

Solvang

 

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