Ohio man receives wife's ashes that were lost in mail

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 4:35 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio widower received the cremated remains of his wife on Friday, a week after the ashes were lost by the U.S. Postal Service while in transit to their home in Columbus.

"She is right in front of me on the table," said Norman Kirkendall, 83, referring to the remains of Barbara Kirkendall, who died earlier this month in Cleveland at age 80.

"I'm going to keep her with me for the weekend," he told Reuters in an interview.

An intense search began after Kirkendall called the Postal Service when the ashes, which had been sent via Priority Express Mail last Friday, did not arrive by noon on Saturday as scheduled.

The Postal Service determined that the remains had been misdirected to Michigan, located them early on Friday and transported them to Columbus, Postal Service spokesman David Van Allen said.

In the meantime, services were held without her remains on Wednesday in a town southeast of Columbus and on Thursday at Dayton National Cemetery, where the Kirkendalls have a joint plot.

Kirkendall said he and his wife had begun dating while both were serving in communications with the U.S. Air Force, and were married for 61 years.

"They said she went to Michigan, which is too bad because my wife preferred the warm weather," he said.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Mohammad Zargham)