Strangers help lay WWII veteran to rest

Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 17:37:31-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - A World War II veteran was laid to rest Thursday with the help of complete strangers, thanks to a Facebook post inviting veterans across the state to his funeral. 

WWII veteran Gordon Hale, 90, died alone last week with no friends or family in the area to plan his funeral services. So a Facebook post was created, inviting the public to attend his service at Lake Forrest Cemetery. 

Dozens of veterans, VFW’s, and perfect strangers throughout Michigan came to show their support. Adam Shumaker, Rifle Team Member and retired Navy Veteran of Post 28, said even though many people in attendance didn’t know Hale, that doesn’t mean they’re not family.

“I guess that just depends on your definition of family, and we’re family just minus the DNA.” Shumaker said.

Hale lived the remaining 14 years of his life at Sanctuary at the Shore in Grand Haven. Thursday, Hale’s caretakers and nurses were present during his funeral, telling FOX 17 the turnout for his ceremony brought tears to their eyes.

“It makes me happy because it was sad seeing that Facebook post that he was and had no family,” Mary Patricio, Hale’s caretaker, said. “I’m just happy to see everyone here for him.”