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Big crowd expected at funeral

October 17, 2000

Big crowd expected at funeral



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

see also: Craig Wibberley funeral details

Saturday's military funeral services for Craig Wibberley of Williamsport will cause temporary closings of some roads and Interstate 70 ramps and will delay traffic, Sheriff Charles Mades said Tuesday.

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The services for sailor Wibberley, 19, may draw as many as 500 to 1,000 people, possibly including Gov. Parris Glendening and federal officials, he said.

A Glendening spokesman said he did not know whether the governor will attend the services.

Wibberley was killed in the USS Cole explosion last week.

The Wibberleys could have buried their son at Arlington National Cemetery, where some of the other sailors will be buried, but the family chose to have him buried at St. Mark's Episcopal Church Cemetery at Lappans Crossroads, Mades said.

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The funeral services will be at noon at St. John's Episcopal Church, 101 S. Prospect St. in Hagerstown. He will be buried later that day at St. Mark's with Navy officials serving as pallbearers.

Funeral information is not available for Patrick Roy, 19, of Keedysville, who was also on the USS Cole.

Roy's body has not been found, but the Navy says he is presumed dead. Six bodies were recovered from the wreckage Tuesday, but the Navy has not said if Roy was one of them.

The Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt of St. Mark's Episcopal Church said she spoke to the Wibberley family Monday about the funeral arrangements.

"They're still just going back and forth between disbelief and coping with what they have to cope with," she said.

More flowers and mementos were added Tuesday to a makeshift memorial for Wibberley at the entrance to his Williamsport neighborhood. A candle burned through the rain.

U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett Jr. has called both of the families to offer his condolences and the services of his office.

"One-eighth of all the deaths are from Washington County. It's just an incredible statistic," he said.

Bartlett said his district has a higher proportion of people who go into the military than most.

He and other members of Congress planned to fly to Norfolk, Va., this morning to attend the memorial service.

The Roy and Wibberley families are also expected to attend today's memorial services.

Visitation for Wibberley is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church. Gerald N. Minnich Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Because of the services Saturday, Walnut Street will be closed from about 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from City Park Circle to Antietam Street, Mades said.

During that time parking on Prospect and South Prospect from Washington to Baltimore Streets will be restricted to those attending the services, he said.

Antietam Street will be closed from Summit Avenue to Walnut, he said.

There will be some overflow parking available at St. Mary's Catholic Church, he said. Parking at that lot is intended for those attending the services but not the burial, he said.

The services are expected to last between 60 to 90 minutes, Mades said.

After the funeral, traffic going to the burial will be directed to Virginia Avenue and then to Wilson Boulevard and South Potomac Street and Sharpsburg Pike (Md. 65) to Lappans Crossroads.

Sheriff's deputies will be on hand to ensure the funeral procession runs as smoothly as possible, he said.

The procession will cause some delays for other drivers, Mades said.

From about 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, the intersection of Md. 65 and Md. 68 will be closed, he said. Drivers will be unable to enter Md. 68 from Md. 65, he said.

There will be no eastbound traffic on Md. 68 during the procession, he said.

Interstate 70 ramps onto Md. 65 will be temporarily closed during the procession, Mades said.

Detours will be posted for people trying to drive to Prime Outlets in Hagerstown or the prison complex south of Hagerstown, Mades said.

The Maryland State Highway Administration will post signs Thursday or Friday on I-70 and Md. 68 warning of road closings and suggested detours, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The administration will also broadcast traffic advisories before Saturday on 1630 AM, a spokeswoman said.

To reduce traffic, Williamsport residents are being asked to carpool by meeting and parking at Williamsport High School, Mades said.

Staff Writer Laura Ernde contributed to this story.

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