The story of a lost Detroit gravestone being returned to deceased WWI vet

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A grave marker mystery in Detroit has been solved.

Yesterday Local 4 showed you how a new Detroit homeowner made a surprising discovery hidden in his backyard. Tucked in an old box under lots of debris, a grave marker belonging to the home’s original owner, a World War I veteran.

The gravestone belongs to Jack Clay. The WWI veteran is buried in Clinton Township at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery. According to the application for a headstone or marker for Clay, the gravestone was sent to the veteran’s wife, who lived in the east side Detroit home.

The application was filled out in late August of 1956. Clay was born on Sept. 1, 1899, in Georgia and passed away on June 20, 1956, in Michigan at the age of 56.

Previous coverage: Man finds veteran’s headstone in backyard on Detroit’s east side

The Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery in Macomb County heard about the discovery of the gravestone and said they are willing to install the marker in its proper spot free of charge as a thank you for his service to the United States.

To learn more, watch the video player above.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.