Elwood neighbors become family for ‘quiet’ Korean War veteran at his funeral

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ELWOOD, Ind. — Korean War veteran George Green died at age 89 on December 5. He lived his whole life in his family's home in Elwood. Despite the Madison County coroner's best efforts to reach family and loved ones, it appears Green did not have any surviving relatives.

"When we have someone that we can't find any family with, the coroner's office by law, has to advertise in the newspaper," Marian Melvin-Dunnichay with the Madison County Coroner's Office said. "So, we advertise it in county and local newspapers, we try to get it on news stations, obviously use social media.  We also knew some people in the local community that were involved in the burials of his family so we reached out to them. We worked with the cemetery, we worked with the health department, we just tried every avenue that we can and again, there's a lot of people that do call. We appreciate all the tips, we just sometimes you don't find a next kin or a niece or nephew."

Because they could not find living family members, the community was invited to a funeral service at the Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home on Thursday morning. Dozens of people came to honor the decorated US Army veteran's life.

"There's probably 100 people here today," Joseph Miller, commander of the local VFW said. "I just love it that this is how we came together today."

Pastor Rodney Ellis, Mayor Todd Jones and other community leaders shared the few details they learned from neighbors about Green. They also encouraged the community to support those around them.

"Let's reach out to those veterans," Miller said. "There's other Mr. Green's out there that have nobody, let's go and reach them out now before they die a lonely death. Let's find them now."

The Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home posted some information about Green on their website. Green is buried at the Marion National Cemetery.

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