Even the grave markers we carve from stone will one day disappear. The granite and marble we rely on to eulogize our soldiers and keep them from being forgotten are often forgotten and neglected. Andrew Lumish has a mission to turn that around. He’s developed a gift for cleaning tombstones so the names of those below them can be read and remembered.
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The Tampa Bay Times covered Lumish’s efforts. Lumish spends his Sundays on his knees, removing the mildew, mold and lichen that flourish in the humid climate of central Florida.
Lumish’s strange hobby began when the self-described history buff was taking photos in a historic section of Oaklawn Cemetery.
During the week, Lumish cleans carpet and upholstery. And after several years of using those same skills on stone, he’s been dubbed “the Good Cemeterian.”
In his first two years of work, he’d cleaned off more than 300 headstones. As he does, he makes records of the names in an attempt to keep their memories alive. He publishes what he finds on Facebook page.
His work has inspired others to do similar work in other cemeteries, and Lumish also offers suggestions on how to clean stone. Part of the process involves D/2 Biological Solution. The rest is basic elbow grease. Some restorations take Lumish up to four months.
Lumish has truly dedicated himself to the task, and his dedication can clearly be seen in the results.