(Stanton)--There are so many heroes when it comes to taking care of our cemeteries in KMAland as so many of them are in such pristine condition.
Count Jim Raney of rural Stanton amongst those ultra-dedicated people as he's been helping to take care of the Arlington Cemetery 6 miles northeast of Stanton for over 50 years.
Jim and his wife, LaDonna, both Stanton grads, raised 4 children; Judy, Mark, Larry and Randy. The couple, who were married in 1950, have 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren!
LaDonna loves it when family comes to visit them.
"We do," she says. "And we really enjoy them. Every one of them. We tell them to come and see us. We're here to see anybody and every body."
Jim farmed until 1980. After that time he did construction and custodial work while LaDonna worked a number of years for the Murphy Calendar factory in Red Oak.
And up until recently, the one thing they never stopped doing was helping to take care of the Arlington Cemetery, including serving as trustee.
"Both LaDonna and I, we've mowed at the cemetery for a time, for a wage," says Jim. "I've dug some graves and done some locating, worked as a clerk, seeding-these types of things."
After a tornado ripped through their township a few years back, damaging their home and property, Jim found the cemetery had been adversely affected as well.
"We had a storm go through and take a lot of our trees out," he says. "We've planted 18 different types of trees up there and taken care of those trees."
He's proud of Arlington Cemetery.
"It's a very roomy cemetery. It has a nice view, with its alleys and things. It's one that we're very proud of."
The Raneys of course have many family and friends buried there.
"Yes there is," says Jim. "Family and friends. You can go up and visit with most anybody anytime," he says with a chuckle.
If you'd like to learn more about Jim, LaDonna, their wonderful family and the Arlington Cemetery, including the interesting story of how it got its name, listen to their audio segment below here at KMAland.com.