• Last modified 387 days ago (May 4, 2023)


Pilsen earns a Gold Star

Staff writer

A memorial sign for all Gold Star families, who lost a service member in a war, now stands in the cemetery at Pilsen.

The sign, months in planning, is a collaboration of the Suburban Garden Club of Wichita, the Kansas Association of Garden Clubs, the cemetery district, and a donor in Tennessee.

Cemetery sexton William Benda found out last fall the signs were available through the garden clubs and investigated how to get one for the cemetery.

He wanted the sign to commemorate all Gold Star families, not just the families of Father Emil Kapaun and of Dean Klenda, whose remains are buried in the cemetery.

Benda said it was suggested that the sign be mounted near Kapaun’s memorial, but he insisted it would not be there.

Instead, the sign stands east of the cemetery gateway arch.

Getting the sign, created in Florida, took a lot of coordination between the parties involved, he said. The process had its bumps along the way.

For one thing, the chairwoman of the Suburban Garden Club resigned during the process of obtaining the sign.

Formal dedication will be Memorial Day.

Last modified May 4, 2023