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"Service for the Unclaimed" inspires remembrance

Fifteen people who recently died were given funeral mass

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - They are the unclaimed, those forgotten by society, some who are without family and friends. 

Students from Scranton Prep came together Tuesday to give 15 people who recently died in Lackawanna County a proper funeral mass. 

One-by-one, Scranton Prep students carried the cremated remains of 15 people into Immaculate Conception Church Tuesday morning. 

This funeral mass is unlike any other, remembering those people who passed in Lackawanna County, whose bodies were never claimed. 

“We have no idea who these people were but they meant something to us and they meant something to the community and they deserve to have a send-off just like everybody else,” Scranton Prep junior Kate Franceschelli said. 

The intention of this mass is to honor the lonely and forgotten and show they are remembered. 

“I thought it was such a beautiful thing that I could do for this person, to send them off the right way,” Scranton Prep junior Aidan Sekely said. 

A married couple, Wayne and Shirley Yorganson, were among those remembered Tuesday. 

Wayne died in March of natural causes and investigators found Shirley’s cremated remains in the trunk of his car. 

Shirley died five years earlier, the priest telling students, he may have loved her so much he carried her ashes until the day he died. 

“For all the sad things that we do in this office, this is probably one of the most joyous ceremonies we can have,” Lackawanna County coroner Tim Rowland said. 

The junior class of Scranton Prep has been holding this service for the last four years. 

Each year it has a profound impact. 

“Everybody’s equal and I think everybody deserves to go out the same way,” Scranton Prep junior Paul Ruddy said. 

The remains of each person will be placed in a crypt at Saint Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow which was donated by the Diocese of Scranton. 


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