When friends and family of Matthew Thompson, a Lawrence man killed in a November 2004 motorcycle accident, decided to place a cross at a spot near where he was killed — in front of Graystone Apartments, 2512 W. Sixth St. — they wanted it to last.
So, after talking with city officials, they placed an iron cross four-feet deep in cement.
And more than six years later, the cross still stands, and friends frequently change the flowers and decorate the cross.
“He meant a lot to us,” said Beverly Turpin, who, along with her twin sister, Barbara Pine, keep the cross up to date. Seasonally, they change decorations at the site.
The women came to know Thompson well as he dated Beverly’s daughter, Jessica Snow, for a couple of years.
There’s also usually a gathering of friends at the site near Christmas, said Thompson’s sister, Amy Cox.
“That was his favorite holiday,” she said.
Memorial crosses dot roadways across the state, said Kimberly Qualls, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation. Qualls said the state doesn’t have a policy regarding the roadside memorials. The agency also doesn’t keep track of the number or memorials.
Thompson’s cross is technically on city-maintained property near the sidewalk. City officials have received no complaints, said Megan Gilliland, city spokeswoman.
Turpin said she’s pleased the cross has remained, as it helps her “keep remembering (Thompson).”