Closure after family learns of solitary veteran's passing, burial

missing veteran
Stephen Myerson in an undated family photo. Photo credit Irene Donovan

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A north suburban woman’s search for a family member has ended in sadness but also a sense of closure.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Stephen Myerson, 72, was buried this week at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Joliet. No family members were present because none could be found.

Irene Donovan of Winthrop Harbor heard a report on WBBM Newsradio, recognized the veteran’s name as her cousin’s and got in touch with the station and then called the newspaper that reported on Myerson’s passing.

Finally, Donovan confirmed it was her cousin. He’d been missing from the family for six years.

“My cousin had a twin sister, and she passed away two years ago,” Donovan told WBBM’s Steve Miller Thursday. “And my aunt, who’s 92 years old, wanted to get hold of him and let him know and was very upset that she wouldn’t be able to tell him because we couldn’t find him.

“So I kind of made it my mission. I didn’t think I was going to find him that way.”

Donovan says her aunt — Stephen Myerson’s mother — now knows the truth and has closure.

“It’s nice, with everything else going on, she doesn’t have to worry.  She knows where he is,” the relative said.

Stephen Myerson was born in Chicago in 1948 and had lived recently at the Citadel Care Center in Elgin. He passed away Dec. 11. The Vietnam War veteran served in the Marines from 1968 to 1970, according to an obituary posted by Laird Funeral Home.