Title: Army private, Korean War
Birthdate: June 12, 1930
Death Date: July 1, 1993
Plot Location: Section 136, Lot 12, Row 4

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It wouldn’t be right to not recognize as “notable” someone who served our country in a foreign war zone just because there aren’t enough facts to compile a life story. Nor is it possible to have a Notable entry for every person interred at Mount Moriah who was a member of the Armed Forces. All that is known about Joseph Shealy is what is inscribed on his gravestone and that his home state was South Carolina. Compounding matters is the Shealy surname, so common that it appears 298 times in the 1956 Columbia city directory.

There are references to a young man with this name in various documents, including a student at the University of South Carolina in 1949, a log hauler for a trucking company in 1950, a son of a farmer-turned-mill worker, and a supervisor at a state hospital. Maybe he was one or more of these. 

It’s not known if he served overseas or stateside, and even his race cannot be confirmed. This newspaper clipping connects him to Philadelphia, but did the South Carolina funeral home later announce that the body would be returned to Columbia? Or was it really this person who was buried at Mount Moriah? 

What can be said with certainty is this gravestone represents Joseph’s Shealy’s life, notable for the valor and virtue displayed in serving his country, however, whenever, and wherever he served. Honor is due to him and to each veteran, whether the story behind that life is long or short, known or unknown.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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