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Star Staff Writer, Corner Brook

Saturday, June 21, 2003

CAPE ST. GEORGE. Patrick Kerfont was put to rest at Our Lady of the Cape Cemetery here on Friday afternoon, nearly 37 years after his death.

The burial followed a mass officiated by Sister Gertrude Scott, who told the 75 or so people on hand that they were there celebrating Patrick's life of 17 years.

She recognized that mixed emotions were being felt by the family and friends of Kerfont, who had gone missing in a snow storm on Christmas Day in 1966. His remains were discovered by a work crew on June 4 and a subsequent investigation revealed that it was the remains of Kerfont, who had been traveling from Mainland to Cape St. George on that day with his cousin Bernard, who was 15 at the time.

From the location of where they were found on Garden Hill, the two were only about a 15-minute walk from home. Bernard's body was found just days after he went missing and the location was only about a kilometer from where Patrick's remains were recently found.

George and Dennis Kerfont, brothers of Patrick, say they are very pleased that his remains were found and that they now can finally put closure to his death after all these years. Dennis, outside the church, expressed appreciation to the workers who found Patrick's remains.

Sister Scott said during the service she realized there were mixed emotions being felt by family and friends and that there were feelings of grief that never came to a closure. She said even though family and friends didn't know where he was, that God did and they could feel solace in that.

Patrick was one of 18 children of the Late William and the Late Elsie Kerfont and with the exception of him, all of them are still living. The surviving boys are: Alex, Mike, George, Bill, Calvin, Dennis, Alsid and Louis. The nine girls in the family are: Mabel, Julia, Ethel, Mary, Bride, Elizabeth, Lillian, Nancy and Anita.

Six of the boys were present at the funeral and performed the duty of pallbearers; while just one sister was able to make it to the service.

Sister Scott, who has been Our Lady of the Cape Parish for eight years, said that while looking through the parish death registry some years ago she had seen Patrick Kerfont's name and written in was that he had been lost in a storm at "The Cape" and had died.

"We are now able to celebrate his life that ended a little more than 36 years ago and be content in the fact that he is now with his mom and dad," she said.

Dennis said there was a strange coincidence in the spot that was picked in the cemetery for his final burial place. His lot is located between his mother Elsie and his aunt, Mary Josephine, who both died in the same hospital on the same day ? Jan. 23, 1996.

They were both put to rest side by side and for no particular reason a plot was left in the middle and that spot has now been taken by Patrick, who died long before them.

With the sun shining down during the burial ceremony at the cemetery on a warm day, it was in sharp contrast to the dying hours of the young man who had lost his life to the elements those many years ago.

Sister Scott, in church, made an analogy from the readings comparing how the two young men had lost their lives, noting their sense of excitement and adventure and the fact they were climbing mountains, just as Jesus had done when he was young, getting away from the crowded city and into the mountains to pray and seek that same sense of adventure.

"Patrick has been all these years with God enjoying the rich banquet and has since been joined in that by his mom and dad. His life, though cut short, is well worth celebrating and I thank you all for coming here today to help do that," she said.

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