Throughout the more than 150 years Fulton State Hospital has been in operation, many of its patients were remembered only by hospital staff, FSH employee Helen Logan said.
"A long time ago, when our cemetery was founded, a lot of people didn't have anyone else to care for them. We were their family," said Logan, director of the department of spirituality and compassionate care. "Decades ago, a fire destroyed the blueprint of our cemetery, and many of the graves were unmarked."
That's why she loves the memorial service FSH holds every year, which was Thursday. Called the "We remember with resolved dignity" ceremony, it memorializes all former and current FSH staff and clients who died within the past year.
"It's important to keep in mind people who could be forgotten, as people with mental illnesses often are," Logan said.
Daniel Russel, a chaplain at FSH, also appreciates the service.
"We're able to remember those people who've served here, worked here and lived here," Russel said.
At the service, Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton and Callaway County commissioners Roger Fischer and Randy Kleindienst read the names of 40 deceased staff members.
Among them, Russel said, "there's about 500 years of service that have been given."
Three residents who died between June and March also were recognized, along with FSH staff serving in U.S. Military Reserves.
Typically, the ceremony is held outdoors at the cemetery, but current construction made that difficult this year, Russel said.