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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October 29, 2014


NEW CASTLE (Oct. 29, 2014) - Over the next month, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will dedicate monuments bearing the names of individuals buried at Delaware's three Potter's Fields in each county as a way to further honor the memory of each person.

DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said adding the monuments shows the reverence for the almost 2,000 individuals buried in the Potter's Fields. Individuals who do not have families, are indigent and who die while living in state facilities are buried there. The cemeteries are the responsibility of DHSS.

'As public servants, it is our responsibility to honor the individual citizens interred in each of our Potter's Field and to hold them in our memories," Secretary Landgraf said. "Each of these monument dedication ceremonies will bring additional comfort to the families and friends of these individuals, and further show that these individuals' lives had meaning and that their loss will be forever commemorated."

The individual ceremonies, which are open to the public, will begin Thursday, Oct. 30, at 9 a.m. with the dedication of the monument in New Castle County at the Baylor Potter's Field between the Baylor Women's Correctional Institute and DHSS' Herman Holloway Campus, 1901 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle. The monument at Baylor Potter's Field, established in 1979, has the names of about 700 individuals buried there, including clients of the former Delaware State Hospital, now known as the Delaware Psychiatric Center. Secretary Landgraf and the Rev. William Boatwright, chaplain for the Delaware Psychiatric Center, will speak at the ceremony. Music will be provided by Beth Schafer.

During the past three years, the Baylor Potter's Field has been undergoing a renewal, which has included the addition of low-maintenance plants and decorative fencing, the planting of trees and grasses, and the creation of a sign, "State of Delaware, Potter's Field, Est. 1979."

The remaining two monument dedication ceremonies will be held:

All three cemeteries are active, and the names of individuals who are interred at each location will be added to the monument.

Dana Chant, cemetery manager from DHSS' Division of Social Services (DSS) who was in charge of the monument project, said money for the monuments came from DSS funds.

For more information about the Potter's Fields, contact Dana Chant at (302) 255-9539.

The remaining two monument dedication ceremonies will be held:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.