Prude Death Investigation

Strangers, friends put together funeral for ‘unclaimed’ veteran

Local News

The hospital called him “an unclaimed individual.” But to many, he was a Vietnam veteran who deserved full military honors at his funeral.

“He was so generous, he never accepted no for an answer.”

Maria Ramos, and her mother Norma, had known Rudolph Muck III, a Vietnam Army veteran, for three years. “Me and my mother were his caretakers and we just did favors – groceries; he was very fragile.”

Earlier in April, Muck was hospitalized and later died. With no known family, Thompson Hospital turned to Ramos. “They asked me if I wanted to be held responsible and I saw no other answer; I had to do it as a military sister and a human being.”

Unsure what to do and faced with funeral expenses, Ramos posted on the Canandaigua 2020 Facebook page. “My mother MaryAnn saw it and sent me a text message saying, ‘I know you can help this person out.’ says Tom Everetts.

So Tom Everetts, the American Legion Riders road captain, got in touch with Ramos and got to work. Ramos contacted Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery and found Muck was already set to be cremated, but with no service. Everetts wouldn’t allow it.

“The Patriot Guard and American Legion got together on this mission today,” said Everetts.

Within three days and less than 24 hours to plan a funeral motorcade, a military honored funeral was planned.

Everetts says, “We’d never let a brother pass on or be at a funeral without someone there to honor and pay respect for that veteran.”

Surrounded by friends, Muck was laid to rest under the flag he fought for: Their mission accomplished.

“It’s the ultimate thank you for everything that he did for us,” says Ramos.

Rudolph Muck III served two years in Vietnam. He was 92-years-old.

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