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Truckee joins to mourn unknown infant

Staff Reports

Some hold that death is a part of life – and indeed, it has become a regular fixture on television and the newspapers, from scenes of plane crashes to videos of Dr. Kevorkian administering a lethal injection.

But how often does a community join together to change a tragic death, to make it instead a celebration of life?

The death of “Guadalupe,” an infant whose body was cast away in a garbage bag shortly after her birth, galvanized the Truckee community.

Discovered by workers at the Eastern Regional Transfer Station, at first it seemed Guadalupe could be just another grim statistic – another casualty to be reported on the evening news as a topic of speculation.

However, the spirit and generosity of the people who found her, as well as the rest of the Truckee community, would not allow that.

In a remarkable display of affection the community came together last week to mourn Guadalupe, to make sure that her brief life and her passing did not go unnoticed.

More than 200 people, including many workers from the Eastern Regional Transfer Station, packed the Assumption Catholic Church in Truckee last week, and bid farewell to the brown-haired, brown-eyed infant.

Many people contributed to defray costs of her memorial and funeral, including the Eastern Regional Transfer Station, Joe and Claire Aguera of Truckee-Tahoe Mortuary, other Truckee businesses and individuals, and even the workers at a Sacramento factory which built her casket, and did not charge the cost of their labor.

In the words of the Rev. Stanley Poltorak at the memorial service:

“You adopted this child when you found her at the trash recycling center. You gave her a name, Guadalupe. She is one of us. She is a part of us and our community. You, her family, have given her a blessing, love and caring that acknowledges Guadalupe’s arrival into this world.”

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