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    RANDOLPH

    Randolph veteran who died alone to be accorded military burial

    When 75-year-old Valgean St. Cyere died alone in his Randolph apartment in August, his body was not discovered for several weeks.

    St. Cyere, an Army veteran, will be laid to rest in a military burial Thursday, Dec. 14, at Bourne National Cemetery, and the Randolph official who scheduled the ceremony wants to ensure his passing will be properly noted.

    Kevin J. Cook, director of Veterans Services for Randolph, has been searching for clues about St. Cyere for weeks.

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    “I’m hoping that somebody sees this and remembers him,” said Cook, who has taken to social media, search engines, and word-of-mouth to find out more.

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    St. Cyere is the second veteran to die in Randolph this year without any known relatives. In July, a veteran named John Ford also died, and, Cook said, it was only a casual conversation Ford had with a neighbor that revealed Ford had been a teacher at Madison Park High School in Boston for many years.

    None of his family could be found, but about 40 members of veterans’ groups showed up for that funeral.

    “We knew something about him then,’’ said Cook. “No man is truly dead until they are forgotten.”

    Cook said the state Medical Examiner’s Office called him in November after they were able to determine that St. Cyere, likely of Haitian decent, had served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1961.

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    “He had no family that they could find,” said Cook, who despite finding out the names of a couple of people who might be related found only dead ends.

    “If there’s no family we will be his family,’’ he said. “He died alone; he will not be laid to rest alone.”

    Cook said that he will keep the American flag when it is folded and removed at the internment of St. Cyere’s ashes, just in case a family member comes forward.

    “This time of year everybody’s thinking about family,’’ said Cook.

    “You don’t realize how many blessings you have.”

    Elaine Cushman Carroll can be reached at elaine_carroll@msn.com.