Robert Lawrence Openlander Laid to Rest By Family

There are No Unknown Veterans, God Knows Them All

On Thursday, May 26th, Robert Lawrence Openlander was laid to rest at Jefferson Barracks.  It was reported on Thursday by the Post-Dispatch, that a U.S. veteran, who died alone in August at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, was buried on Thursday with the full military honors.  The hospital staff worked to give him a full military burial.  Thank you Barnes-Jewish for your hard work!

It was said, “He didn’t have any family.”  Respectfully, his family showed up on Thursday to say goodbye.  The Patriot Guard and many, many veterans who faithfully serve were there to say goodbye to Robert.  Veterans know, once you serve you become part of a much bigger family, and no one is ever left behind.  Thank you Patriot Guard!

We learned a little bit about Robert.  And once again we were reminded, we live in a wonderful community that honors our veterans.

Robert Lawrence Openlander was born 7-DEC 1942.  His parents were Lawrence and Fern Openlander and the family lived in the 5600 block of Chippewa in the South Hampton neighborhood.  We believe Robert was an only child.  He attended Riverview Gardens High School in North St. Louis County Missouri.

Navy records indicate in 1970 shows he served on the USS Robert E. Byrd, a destroyer.  At the age of 39, he married Lois Joann Kimball, age 27, of De Soto on 14-MAR 1981. His residence then was listed as Jennings.

Last year, 1,752 unclaimed veterans were buried in the 150 veterans’ cemeteries run by the federal government, according to the VA.  Thank you to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Patriot Guard and all the local veterans that accompanied Robert to Jefferson Barracks.

There are No Unknown Veterans, God Knows Them All.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.