Culture and Trends ›

More than just identical twins / Nick Ehrhardt

More than just identical twins

The annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio begins today, and we’re helping them celebrate by spotlighting a few sets of twins.

Julian and Adrian Riester (Tampa Bay Online)Julian and Adrian Riester, identical twins, who served as Franciscan monks for 65 years – 35 of them at St. Bonaventure University – retired to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2008, and died hours apart on June 1, 2011.

In the obituary he wrote about them for the St. Petersburg Times, Andrew Meacham wrote that the Riesters “were more than just brothers and more than just identical twins.”

They made the same choices – from deciding to commit their lives to the Catholic church following a visit to the Vatican as high school students to ordering the same food at restaurants.

Meacham wrote:

The brothers attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, and might have entered the draft in the later part of World War II. They were turned down because of their eyesight, according to St. Bonaventure — one with a bad left eye, the other a bad right eye.

The Riesters are not the only twins who had more than their DNA in common.

June “Shorty” Stow, who died in June, and her identical twin sister, Jean Shetler Jones, who died in 2003, both graduated in 1940 from Ohio Wesleyan University, where they met their husbands, both of whom became physicians.

Stow’s obituary in the Lansing (Michigan) State Journal and Jones’s in the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal indicate that each “was a dedicated volunteer and enjoyed affiliation with many community organizations.”

Stow was a member of the Junior League of Lansing, the Ingham County Medical Auxiliary and Women’s Board of Sparrow Hospital. She was an avid golfer who belonged to country clubs in Michigan, Florida and North Carolina.

Jones served as treasurer for the Junior League of Canton, Ohio, and belonged to the Medical Auxiliary of Stark County and Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital. She was an avid golfer who belonged to country clubs in Ohio and Florida.

Architect Carolyn McCarron Brink died July 9 at her home, which she designed, in Arcadia, California.

She graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California, her obit in the Pasadena Star-News says.

She was licensed California Architect since 1957 and also served the City of Arcadia as a member (and chairman) of the Planning Commission. Carolyn worked as an architect for HMC and at Kasier Permanente until her retirement.

Her identical twin, the late Marilyn McCarron Urmston, also was an architect.


This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.