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Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

Memories and Icons

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Legacy Stone brings life to headstones and statues

When we visit the gravesite of loved ones who have passed, we remember the good times and laughter. We know highlights of what happened in their life from their birthdate to the day they were called home.

But what about the others we pass in the cemetery as we near our destination – the seemingly forgotten headstones we find challenging to read because they’re covered in lichen?

About five years ago, Wendy Vance and Mozel Dufour Byrd began working to clean, restore and repair headstones at Greenwood Cemetery. Today, under the name Legacy Stone Restoration, the two continue to restore headstones across Shreveport.

“We complement each other,” said Byrd, who prefers to clean, while Vance fixes and repairs.

In addition to headstones, Byrd also restores statues for the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. Her first restored statue is in front of the Catholic Center on Fairfield Road. The second is in Bishop Malone’s Courtyard. Her third restored statue is St. Lucy for the Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service (A.C.T.S.) retreat. Shreveporter Mary Ann Van Osdell donated St. Lucy to the Daughters of the Cross. Byrd is now working on a Sacred Heart statue.

“It’s therapeutic,” said Byrd. “I find working in the cemetery [and with statues] very peaceful. Before I begin working on any grave or statue, I pray. I also wonder what kind of person were they? What did their dash stand for? You look at a headstone and see the birth and death date, and that’s all we know. There’s so much more. The dash stands for so much more.”

Vance and Byrd work throughout each school year and summer, using the same chemical used on the National Monument. To learn more about Vance and Byrd’s work, visit Facebook.com/LegacyStoneRestoration.

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