An urn filled with ashes that washed up on the Oregon coast last month is now back in BC.

Mystery urn clears customs

An urn containing the ashes of a former Kootenay man that washed up on the Oregon coast last month has now been returned to BC.

An 87-year-old urn containing the ashes of a former Kootenay man that washed up on the Oregon coast last month has now been returned to his granddaughter in Oliver.

Iris Close took possession of the remains of William George Kennedy Sr. and expects to be in Nelson sometime next month to inter them alongside her father’s grave.

Astoria funeral home director Tom Preston shipped the urn to the Oliver RCMP detachment, which released it to Close.

The urn became a minor media sensation after a 17-year-old boy found it and then turned it over to the funeral home, hoping to find its rightful owner.

The Star helped find Close, who was born and raised in Nelson, but has not lived here for many decades.

Her grandfather, a gardener, emigrated from England to Harrop in 1911 and established a nursery. He later moved to the US and ran a hotel in Bellingham, Washington before his death in 1925.

After news of the urn’s discovery broke, a man stepped forward to say he presided over its burial at sea 30 to 35 years ago.


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