80 years after death, man's remains buried next to family

80 years after death, man's remains buried next to family »Play Video
Family members took the remains of James Arrington to the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery for a proper burial next to his wife and son.

COOS BAY, Ore. - James Arrington died in a state hospital in Salem 80 years ago.

For all that time, his remains were thought to be lost.

Recently, his great niece was notified that Arrington's ashes were sitting on a shelf in a museum.

Family members then took him to the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery for a proper burial next to his wife and son.

James was related to the Rose brothers who founded Roseburg.

"They committed him, because in those days they didn't have nursing homes," said Patty Bessey, Arrington's great niece.

She said Arrington suffered from health problems as he aged.

"He told people he wanted to die and so they committed him because he was suicidal," she said.

He died in 1933. His remains were put in a cemetery in Salem that flooded decades later.

"They dug all the ashes up and they took them into the hospital and stuck them on shelves," Bessey said, "and that's how he ended up on a shelf."