New Baden man donates time to spruce up cemetery to honor veterans

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A sidewalk separates the new Baden city cemetery and the St. George catholic cemetery. But it's Marvin Spaeth who brought them both together and gave new life to these final resting places.

'There were tombstones that were falling over, broken and busted lambs with their heads knocked off, angels with their wings missing,' says Marvin Spaeth.

He plotted out his plan of attack, pouring two foot by two foot bands of concrete ribbon, some 400 feet long throughout the cemetery.

For the last five years Spaeth has been donating his time and undetermined amount of money and countless hours near downtown new Baden, Illinois.

'From the shambles it was before to now is just beyond a night and day difference,' says Spaeth.

Spaeth brought order and elbow grease to cemeteries.

In 2010 while building this entrance he began using a wire brush to clean more than 600 headstones.

'While I was working on the entrance way I`d wait for the mortar to dry in the evenings and I take a wire brush and walk out in the cemetery and clean the tombstones,' says Spaeth.

And then in July he and a few of his employees from Spaeth welding began building by hand this veterans memorial that will be dedicated this Wednesday.

Time and Mother Nature had moved some of the headstones and statues in these two cemeteries.

But Marvin Spaeth put them back in place and added a memorial for veterans of all wars.

'I was just like everyone else who`d drive by and say, `Boy isn`t that a shame how bad that cemetery looks, `' says Spaeth.  'But did I do anything the first 60 years of my life, no I didn`t.  So I just finally decided to take the bull by the horns and get after it.'