Aug 6, 2011 3:34 PM by Matt Stafford
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - An aversion to a fancy final resting place landed a couple's cremated remains at a Jackson Hole thrift store, where the shop owners' search for relatives led to a mystery spanning from Arizona to New York.
The ashes were discovered last week in a cardboard box at the Forget-Me-Not thrift shop. The store owners say it was under a skirted table and could have been there for up to two years.
They say it had a label from a crematorium from Tucson, Ariz., and the names, "George Edward Challenger" and "Eleanor Margaret Challenger."
The crematorium tracked down the Challengers' son in New York, who says the ashes ended up in the box because his father didn't like fancy urns. He says when his mother died, his siblings put her ashes with his father.
The son says George Challenger worked in the 1950s for the Atomic Energy Commission in Los Alamos, N.M., and Eleanor was a secretary there when she met him. After George Challenger's stint working on top-secret atomic bomb projects, he bought a music store in Santa Fe, N.M., and ran it for 20 years.
They retired to Tucson and Cathedral, Colo.
The son plans to bring the ashes to New York, where he will spread them near the Hudson River.