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.




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  1. 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!!

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