December 2013

Introducing the South Fork Cemetery Association

Mike Spiker reveals the establishment of the South Fork Cemetery Association and Uncle Paul's generous contribution to the fund.

Introducing: The South Fork Cemetery Association

By Mike Spiker

Note from Editor:  For years our parents generously contributed to the South Fork Cemetery.  Now that so many of them have passed on, who is left to carry on the tradition?  Mike Spiker has the answer….

I had previously discussed with Mark (Spiker) and Uncle Paul (Miller) that I wanted to set up a tax-exempt organization to which tax-exempt contributions could be made – and hopefully accumulated – to assist in the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery.  Called the “South Fork Cemetery Association,” it would be governed by a three member Board, elected by anyone who has an interest in the cemetery, at election once per year (currently Miles Ball is President & Mark Spiker is Vice President.) 

Uncle Paul said he would be interested in supporting the concept and asked that I keep him informed.  I funded the setup and did the legal for free.  The long process was finally completed last spring when we received our IRS tax-exempt letter.

I kept Uncle Paul – as well as (his daughter) Paula (Nolan) – informed of my efforts, and when I at long last got the IRS letter, he said he was ready to send me money.  He then told me that his contribution was for $50,000 and he did not want credit but wanted it named the “Spiker Family Endowment Fund” in tribute for his long-held appreciation of the Spiker family and the role they have played – and continue to play – in his family’s life and in the community.

So after learning Paula would be attending the reunion with son Ryan, his wife Barbara, and two of their three children (the first reunion for Barbara & the kids) I paid to have a giant “sample” check created – like those they give out at golf tournaments.  As everyone was waiting for their pictures at the reunion, I called Mark, Paula, Ryan and family to the front and announced Paul’s generous donation.  I had Paula, Ryan and son – 3 generations – present the “sample” check to Mark.

I hope this will inspire others to make gifts of any amount to the group so that our forefathers/mothers and our generation will have a place to rest that is suitably maintained.  These old cemeteries are hard to keep up and if the church ever ceases to operate then at least there will be something in place to cover mowing the grass and other maintenance at the cemetery. 

(Haley Conley-Cloughessy has uploaded more family photos to her Shutterfly account.  Click here to view.)


  • Submitted by Melinda Chambers – I wanted to let the Spiker family know that Byron was recently diagnosed with fluid on the brain (hydrocephalus) and was in the hospital to get a shunt put in his head to help remove excess spinal fluid. We found out that this was what was causing his problems walking, along with other symptoms. He got along well, and is recovering nicely. He has been able to lose weight and walk without assistance. We are so very thankful that we were able to get the problem diagnosed. We have been blessed.

  • Submitted by Jean Spiker – On Nov. 28, 2013 our grandson Derek shot his first 4 point at 75 yards in the heart, first shot….We are so proud! Of course Papaw Jeff was right at his side.

  • Submitted by Haley Conley-Cloughessy – If you want to hear God laugh…

    Pat and I are excited to announce that our family will not only be growing – but doubling. That’s right; we are expecting TWINS this summer! When we decided it was time to start trying, we planned on only having one child. (We planned. God laughed.) After three days of numbed shock, we are excited, worried, happy and stressed. We can’t wait to find out what we’re having and have already started planning the nursery. The babies are due July 1 and all three of us are looking healthy.