The Omaha funeral of a Vietnam veteran initially believed to have no known living family members could have been a sparsely-attended affair.
But the national attention brought by an Omaha World-Herald funeral notice saw hundreds of people turn up in frigid conditions Tuesday at Omaha National Cemetery to honor Stanley Stoltz.
Stoltz died Nov. 18 at the age of 73. The newspaper ran a small notice inviting the public to his funeral, which went viral on social media and was picked up by at least one cable news network.
Stoltz was born May 29, 1945, and raised in Curlew, Iowa, and later lived in Bennington, Nebraska. Former Bennington Mayor Bill Bohn, who was Stoltz’s friend and neighbor, said Stoltz served in the Vietnam War before settling in Bennington.
Friends say Stoltz’s first wife died of cancer, and he and his second wife divorced. He had no children and was preceded in death by his parents. The World-Herald reports that a brother, who declined to speak to reporters, attended Tuesday’s funeral.