A steel cross destined for a Guthrie hospital reported stolen is valued on paper at $35,000, but it has priceless sentimental value for many residents in Logan County.
Edmond attorney John Coury donated the cross to Guthrie’s Mercy Hospital Logan County, 200 S. Academy. Hospital Administrator Josh Tucker said several weeks ago it was removed from Logan County Memorial Hospital, 602 E. College, so it could be refinished and installed at the new hospital.
The 5,200-pound cross was transported to a sign shop in south Oklahoma City to be restored to its original state, Tucker said. It had become rusty and needed to have lights and supports repaired. The goal was to install it at Mercy Hospital Logan County by the end of the summer.
Tucker said the cross went missing July 14.
“We just want to bring this cross back to the people who have cherished it for so many years,” Tucker said. “It’s painful for so many who have found peace and comfort in that cross.”
Longtime Edmond resident Sam Coury, the donor’s father, said he was informed yesterday that the cross had been reported stolen. On its former home it stood 80 feet in the air and it took two cranes to remove it, Coury said. He hopes it can be recovered before it is cut up and sold for scrap.
“It had to be an organized effort,” he said. “It’s just typical of today’s world.”
The cross can be remade, but it is symbolic, has a lot of emotional and sentimental value; one lady said her prayers to it every morning, Coury said.
Guthrie Mayor Chuck Burtcher, a retired firefighter who has lived in the area for 40 years, spoke about the old hospital’s history. In the 1940s, a Catholic organization bought it and completed construction. In the 1970s it was renamed Logan County Memorial Hospital and deeded to the county. Burtcher said the effort to raise the cross back in the day was quite a feat in and of itself.
Burtcher, who is a Catholic, said he was impressed that the donor wanted to see the cross live on. Many folks were born in the old hospital, saw their grandparents there.
“It’s just been a great landmark,” he said.
Burtcher said he hopes whoever took it has a change of heart and returns it.
The sign shop from where the cross was stolen has filed a police report and an investigation is under way, according to Mercy Hospital Logan County. Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said he was trying to track down information about the incident from his agency.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the cross is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-632-TIPS or text them at 415-5666. Crime tips can also be reported anonymously at www.okccrimetips.com.
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