Memorial Day cemetery tour

Norman Poitevin heads up a free walking tour of the Holy Cross Cemetery in Santa Cruz on Memorial Day. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

A free Memorial Day walking tour of the Holy Cross cemetery in Santa Cruz, provided by Live Oak Historical Walks, gave a dozen visitors a glimpse of past veterans.

Norman Poitevin headed up the one-hour walk that visited the gravesites of a dozen veterans, from decorated World War I soldiers to vets from the Spanish-American War, the Civil War and World War II.

Burials first began at the cemetery, which is located on Capitola Road Extension, in 1869 and continued through 1943 when the new Holy Cross Cemetery opened on nearby 7th Avenue. Numerous graves were moved to the Capitola Road Extension cemetery when construction got under way on the Holy Cross Church in downtown Santa Cruz in 1885.

Gravesites highlighted included:

  • Atillio J. Dogliotti, 1920-1943, who died in active service in World War II. Born in Davenport, he joined the Army Air Corps and trained on a B-24 Liberator. He died in New Mexico when the plane he was in lost its tail and crashed.

  • Adolph Lazarotti, 1895-1967, a Santa Cruz native who served in the U.S. Army and then worked for 30 years for Southern Pacific Railroad.

  • Victor H. Handley, 1888-1918, a Santa Cruz native who served in California’s 40 Infantry Division. He was on a machine gun crew in Lorraine, France, when he was injured by the recoil of his own weapon. He later died from those injuries in England.

• David M. Lorenzana, 1885-1948, a Santa Cruz native who served with the 363rd Infantry, Division 91 where he was a Sergeant. He received the Distinguished Service Medal for Valor for charging through mustard gas and taking out a German machine gun nest. He was injured in the gassing.

  Seraphin Meyer, 1815-1894.The French native fought in the Civil War with the 107th Ohio Volunteers and was appointed Colonel. At Chancellorville he was captured and sent to Libby Prison. He was freed on a prisoner exchange. Meyer eventually died in Santa Cruz in 1894. Though he was buried in Santa Cruz, his wife took him back to Ohio and then brought him back to Santa Cruz just before she died.

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