Woman says cemetery gave her months of promises, but never followed through

Cemetery gives woman run-around over grave marker

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Burying a loved one is not easy, and it can have a big impact on your wallet.

“When it comes to my children and parents, that’s when another side of me comes forward,” Adeline Clarke said.

It’s a side of Adeline Clarke that’s usually hidden under her sweet and gentle exterior, but had to come out when the headstone she paid for from Forest Lawn Cemetery still hasn’t arrived.

“They kept saying six more weeks, six more weeks, and I expected to have it in six weeks. Today, I just had enough,” Clarke said.

It wasn’t a cheap investment for this retiree.

“It was more than $2,000 and less than $5,000," Clarke said.

She finished payments in November and was promised it would be in place in six weeks. After several months, the graves are still unmarked.

“They said 'Oh, you know, we don’t have it yet, but we see that you have finished paying and we will have it in place within the next six weeks,” Clarke said.

December turned into April, and hope turned into anger.

“Real frustration came when I went over, and they have been gone for 10 years," Clarke said. "When I went over and I couldn’t find the grave. I could not find their graves,” Clarke said.

A representative for the company owning the cemetery sent the following statement: “Forest Lawn’s mission is to help families memorialize every life with dignity, including providing and maintaining a tranquil and beautiful place for memorialization. We are looking into the matter raised, and will follow-up with customer directly.”

“After I called Channel 12, who placed a call to Forest Lawn, I went back this afternoon and got to talk to the administrator,” Clarke said.

That administrator told her the workers did not report any issues.

“She knew nothing about it. She hadn’t heard of it. They had kept it all outside of her office," Clarke said. “She determined the stone had never been ordered.”

The headstone was suppose to include a picture of her parents, but that picture was lost.

“I got a warm smile, I got a warm handshake. They have been very kind, but they have been lying all the time,” Clarke said.

The six-week promise the employees gave Clark turned out not to be true.

“It takes 14 days once the last payment has been made for the stone to be put in place,” Clarke said.

Due to the special picture on the headstone, it should take four weeks to arrive.

Clarke now hopes she fulfills the honor to her parents who taught her everything.

“They deserve to have an appropriate marker," Clarke said. “I did my part, and I would very like for Forest Lawn to do their part, as which they have been paid to do.”

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