Fort Snelling – Grandpa Korpi

My family was in Minneapolis this week for the internment of my Grandpa and Grandma.

Both were cremated, and they will be buried together in Fort Snelling.


First we went to see my OTHER Grandpa, my mother’s birth father.

He died of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome complications when he was 32, leaving my grandmother and mother behind.  Grandma remarried, and her husband adopted my mother. Note that this was a time when adopting step children was NOT common.

So here’s the thing: my grandpa Korpi is ALSO interred at Fort Snelling.  We looked him up and visited his gravesite.

Here’s the tombstone:


The place is HUGE, tombstones as far as you can see.  They’re sorted into sections and numbered.  The front side shows the military spouse, and the other spouse is shown on the reverse along with the number.

This was the first time I had ever been there.

Here’s the thing though: my grandpa is Mom’s adopted father.  He’s the one who loved us and visited through my life.  This was a burial site for Mom’s dad.  He’s not Grandpa in my mind.

So I was conflicted.  I felt bad that he had died and that Grandma had to make the decision to take him off life support and let him go.  It was hard for her, haunted her.  And she was left to fend for herself, working, with a toddler.

But my grandpa was the man I had known, the one who loved Grandma and cared for her until the day she passed of ALS.  The last time we saw Grandma, he was carefully feeding her peaches and cream because she had no use of her arms anymore.

I’m glad we went though.  It’s probably the only time I’ll ever go, but it’s good that we went.

You don’t happen to have anyone buried at Fort Snelling, do you?  Do you have a family cemetary?  My dad’s side of the family does.  Do you have relatives that are more historical figures to you than family you’ve known and loved?  Inquiring minds want to know!

One thought on “Fort Snelling – Grandpa Korpi

  1. I have a very strong memory of my birth dad coming home from work picking me up and swinging me around the kitchen. I was only 18 months old but I remember that feeling. My adopted dad did a great job of raising me. God Bless.

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