12 Investigates: Family removes headstone after lawsuit - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

12 Investigates: Family removes headstone after lawsuit

GLOUCESTER, VA (WWBT) - -

A Gloucester family has decided to remove a controversial headstone, rather than fight a church in court.

The family of Wilmer Frank Soles will remove Soles' headstone from his grave at a cemetery owned by Salem United Methodist Church in the next two weeks.

The church sued after Soles' family denied their request to have a picture of a liquor bottle buffed from the headstone, even after the church offered to pay for the removal.

Wilmer Frank Soles died of throat cancer in June of 2011. The Soles family said it paid $4,000 for the marker.

On it is a picture of 'Soles,' as he liked to be called, a picture of his favorite pick-up truck and a photograph of Soles playing cards and drinking with his friend Butch.

Lawyers argue the family "had no right to erect a monument or stone that is offensive to the members of Salem United Methodist or to those who have loved ones buried there."

The story generated a firestorm of controversy as property rights were argued in court. The family said it owns the burial plots. In court documents, the church said neither the family or Soles have any property rights.

Church trustees declined to comment.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Saturday, April 29 2017 5:29 AM EDT2017-04-29 09:29:23 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 5:29 AM EDT2017-04-29 09:29:23 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • Richmond rally Saturday to unite families with missing loved ones

    Richmond rally Saturday to unite families with missing loved ones

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:48 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:48:46 GMT
    Saturday, the state of Virginia will pause to reflect on those who have gone missing -- and for the first time, an event will be held in Richmond to support families who are impacted. (Source: NBC 12)Saturday, the state of Virginia will pause to reflect on those who have gone missing -- and for the first time, an event will be held in Richmond to support families who are impacted. (Source: NBC 12)

    Saturday, the state of Virginia will pause to reflect on those who have gone missing -- and for the first time, an event will be held in Richmond to support families who are impacted. One of the most memorable cases in our area happened not even a year ago when 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs disappeared. The case has left police at a standstill. The missing woman's mother says this is a perfect opportunity to unite others who share her pain and turn it into purpose - by gathering Saturda...

    More >>

    Saturday, the state of Virginia will pause to reflect on those who have gone missing -- and for the first time, an event will be held in Richmond to support families who are impacted. One of the most memorable cases in our area happened not even a year ago when 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs disappeared. The case has left police at a standstill. The missing woman's mother says this is a perfect opportunity to unite others who share her pain and turn it into purpose - by gathering Saturda...

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Police: Man hit by car in Chesterfield County

    Police: Man hit by car in Chesterfield County

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:18 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:18:40 GMT

    Police are investigating an accident involving a pedestrian Chesterfield County.

    More >>

    Police are investigating an accident involving a pedestrian Chesterfield County.

    More >>
  • Should the Soles family have to remove the pictures from the gravestone?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    16%
    107 votes
    No
    84%
    579 votes
Powered by Frankly