Congratulations to Mark Goniwiecha, the Find a Grave® featured volunteer of the month for January 2022! Mark has been working on “cemeteries, graves and tombstones of, and obituaries and memorials for, the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the Carolinian, Micronesian, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Japanese, Asian, “Statesider” American, and other people—who lived, loved, labored, and died on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.” Guam has been his residence for more than thirty years. This gorgeous rainbow in Guam Memorial Park is one of many that he’s seen living on this beautiful island.
His interest in genealogy started more than fifty years ago when he began collecting family history and photographs for both sides of his family. About eight years back he saw that there was a need for this work in Guam and wanted to contribute all that he could to Find a Grave in order to help others. The only online access he has is at the local internet café! We’re grateful for his commitment to document and record cemeteries and headstones from Guam, the Northern Marina Islands, and other locations.
One feature that he enjoys is virtual cemeteries. You can see his varied interests here. Mark is a professor in Guam and volunteers not only on Find a Grave, but otherwise as well. A few years back he started a school community library at Kapingamarangi Atoll (an outer island municipality of Pohnpei state in the Federated States of Micronesia). This island is one of the most remote islands in Micronesia. He received contributions from over 55 donors; books, magazines, newspapers, library and school supplies, etc. The main industry on the island is fishing with homemade outrigger canoes. The island doesn’t have electricity, cars, television, or the internet. His efforts were greatly appreciated! It was here that he found this interesting memorial and story for Arugani Rokuro, and also the headstones for the last two kings of Kapingamarangi, pictured here.
Our accolades to you for your extraordinary work on the site, in cemeteries, and for the community! We are so glad that you are a Find a Grave member and appreciate all your efforts in recording and memorializing those that have passed.
We welcome your suggestions for Volunteer of the Month. If you’d like to submit a volunteer for consideration in future months, please send an email with details of their work to firstname.lastname@example.org.