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Lawrence Mocha to be Memorialized May 16th, 2015

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Lawerence Mocha, the Willard Grave Digger will be given a proper memorialization May 16, 2015! 

After years of work the Willard Cemetery Memorial Committee, with the help of John Allen of the Office of Mental Health, has made contact with a relative of Lawrence Mocha and the family has given their consent to proceed with a memorial, finally publicly identifying and honoring Lawrence Mocha by his given name. This Finger Lakes Times article discusses the massive effort that was involved to come to this point.

Lawrence Mocha

The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project will gather at the Willard Cemetery on May 16, 2015 at 11 a.m. to memorialize Lawrence Mocha

The program will include a greeting, opening prayer and introduction of speakers. Dr. Ann Sullivan, the state commissioner of Mental Health, and Darby Penney, co-author of the book “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From a State Hospital Attic,” are among the invited guests. The Rev. James Fennessy, pastor of St. Francis St. Clare Parish in Waterloo and Seneca Falls, will bless the memorial stone.

There will be a reading of the names of those buried in the cemetery, followed by an introduction of Lawrence Mocha’s descendants, a closing prayer by Pastor David Spencer and light refreshments.

The public is invited, further details to follow, but make sure to “Like” The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project of Facebook to stay up to date on the memorialization.





Monday 20th of April 2015

I was wondering where this is located so I can plan a trip with my family?

Dawn Hoffman

Saturday 18th of April 2015

We want to do the tour too :) Can we reserve/pre pay?

Jennifer Morrisey

Saturday 18th of April 2015

Hi Dawn! No reservations are necessary, the tour will be held on May 16th this year. Tours will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Ticket sales will be at the door only. There are a few changes this year, check out my post for all the details! And if you have further questions contact the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Children’s Center

Upcoming Public Tour of Willard Asylum for the Insane - Home in the Finger Lakes

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

[…] At 11 a.m. May 16 Lawrence Mocha (the Willard Grave digger) will be memorialized at the Willard Cemetery.  […]


Saturday 7th of March 2015

Hi Jennifer!! This is GREAT!! Any word yet on when the Willard historical walking tour will be this year? I can't wait to go!!

Jennifer Morrisey

Sunday 8th of March 2015

Hi Brandy, I have not heard anything yet about a Willard tour yet, but will post as soon as I do!