Article Category: Funereal Friday

Aftermath of an Execution

Posted Friday, Oct 23

“. . . We are not here to judge him but to bury him. May God have mercy on his soul.”

Southern Calls, Vol. 21, September 2018

. . . We left to go to the funeral and were told that a minister was going to be in the chapel, where we were going to have services. Earlier after contacting three ministers that would not help us in our sorrow, or take the boy’s body into church, or even participate on the grounds, one minister had finally consented that we would have chapel services. 

Lee Harvey Oswald
October 18, 1939
— November 24, 1963

He refused to bring the body into the church, but finally consented, after much persuasion, that we would have chapel services at the cemetery. 

The body was brought into the chapel, at the cemetery, because the family did think that the minster was honest and was going to keep his word and this is what was going to happen.  However, when we went into the chapel, the chapel was empty. The body was not there.

Coffin containing the body of Lee Harvey Oswald is carried toward the Chapel at Rose Hill Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas, by funeral director Paul J. Groody and Newsmen.

. . . So we left the chapel and went to the graveside.  As we got to the graveside, another very sad thing happened.  Mr. Groody, who was the funeral director from Miller’s Funeral Home, came and said, “Mrs. Oswald, I’m sorry, but we don’t have a minister.”

FAMILY LEAVING CHAPEL – Says Mrs. Oswald, “The family was told that the minister would be at the chapel to have private chapel services for the family.  When we arrived, the chapel was empty. The body remained in the chapel for about two hours and then upon orders, and I don’t know to this day by who, the body was removed and brought out to the gravesite. This was a sad time for the family…”

Then, Rev. Louis A. Saunders who is executive for the Ft. Worth Council of Churches, leaned over and said, “Mrs. Oswald, I will help out.” He had not preached a sermon for eight years. However, he is not a minister.  He is an executive of the Ft. Worth Council of Churches.

Rev. Louis Sanders joins family

But Rev. Saunders made a wonderful sermon, although he had left his Bible in the car.  He said “We have come here today to lay away the body of Lee Harvey Oswald.  We are not here to judge him but to bury him.  May God have mercy on his soul.”

FUNERAL BIER of Lee Harvey Oswald showing chairs in foreground provided for small family.

He then turned to the newsmen and security men and told them that I had asked his to say that Lee was a good son to her, a good husband to his wife, and a good father.

Excerpts & photo from Aftermath of an Execution,1965, by Mrs. Marguerite Oswald (Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother) 

Aftermath of An Execution by Mrs. Marguerite Oswald
Link to full magazine:
http://www.fortworthtexasarchives.org/digital/collection/p16084coll6/id/21

Copy of Original Funeral Statement – Miller Funeral Home, Fort Worth, Texas

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