Public encouraged to attend burial for unclaimed veteran; services moved to larger venue

Billy Aldridge

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran passed away last month in Indianapolis, leaving no family behind. An Indianapolis-based nursing home was hoping to get the word out to encourage the public to attend his funeral - and the response has been so overwhelming that the funeral location has moved to a larger venue.

Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services in Lawrence is handling the service for Billy C. Aldridge. He died at the age of 80 at Rosewalk Village on October 14. 

The nursing home had no records of any family and asked Legacy to assist by taking him into its care. No one stepped forward to make funeral arrangements so Legacy, along with Private Label Caskets, Memorial Park Cemetery and Indianapolis Police Escort, are working together to give the veteran a dignified burial.

WTHR shared Mr. Aldridge's story on our Facebook page last week. To date, the post has reached over 600,000 viewers, with some of those people planning to attend the funeral. 

Funeral services for Aldridge will be held on Tuesday, November 17, at 10:00 a.m. at Lawrence United Methodist Church, 5200 Shadeland Avenue (across from Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services).  Brig. Gen. J. Stewart Goodwin, Executive Director of Indiana War Memorials, will deliver the eulogy.  Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. The Indy Metropolitan Military Honor Guard will provide military honors. 

The location was originally scheduled at Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services, but the funeral home says interest in Aldridge's funeral forced organizers to move the services across the street at Lawrence UMC.

"We would like to encourage the public, especially any veterans, to attend this service and pay their respects to Mr. Aldridge," said Eddie Beagles, Vice-President of Funeral Operations for Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services.  "In keeping with our company mission, giving this veteran who faithfully served his country a proper burial with military honors is the right thing to do."

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