The stone marker would have been easy to miss. Covered by a thick clump of daylilies, the grave of Alice Pardee at Oak Hill Cemetery was completely hidden from view.
But Sue Davis and Bob Weis, relatives of the longtime Lawrence resident who died in 1973 at age 104, uncovered Pardee's resting place Monday - ending their search for the relative whose life had become lore within the family.
"It's not often you find what you're looking for in genealogy," said Weis, who had traveled from Denver.
Weis and Davis, relatives who found each other only three weeks ago and share an interest in their family's genealogy, have spent the last few days visiting cemeteries in the area.
They are tracking down the final resting spots of their forebears and learning about their relatives' lives in the process.
"We're finding the people, their lives, their stories, their history," said Davis, who lives in Olathe. "It's right here."
Monday was a fortunate day for the exploring pair. After trips to cemeteries in Vinland and Baldwin City, the two scoured Oak Hill. They were looking for Pardee, a Lawrence woman known for her spunk and longevity.
Pardee grew up on a farm near Vinland. Born after Quantrill's Raid, she heard firsthand accounts from her parents who witnessed raiders swooping across the family farm, dropping loot.
Pardee was a country nurse who helped deliver babies in homes across the area. She later became a rural school teacher, and many of her family members also taught in area schools.
Pardee contributed her knowledge of the area to Kansas University's archives. Her 100th birthday was said to draw up to 200 people to Massachusetts Street, according to a newspaper report from the time.
Davis said she heard family stories of how her great-great-aunt would climb out her second-story windows to clean the outside of them - a practice she kept even as she got older.
Late in life, after years of family urging her to move into a nursing home, Pardee apparently grew tired of the nagging and moved into a home, Davis said. There, she spent her final years as she'd spent much of her working life. She read newspapers to the other residents and dispensed medicine.
Carrying a notebook thick with family photos, writings and newspaper clippings, Davis and Weis stood in Oak Hill on Monday, excited they'd found a piece of their family's past.
"They're not gone," Davis said of those whose graves she has visited. "They're still here, because here we stand."