Families fight for cemetery to install paid-for headstones

Families fight for cemetery to install paid-for headstones

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Complaints continue to come in saying Forest Lawn Cemetery has yet to deliver headstones that have already been paid for.

One woman says it took nearly a year for the cemetery to install a headstone for a her parents’ graves.

“I’m not angry with them anymore," Adeline Clarke said. “I’m more disappointed.”

It’s been a long journey for Clarke. Nearly 250 days after she paid for two headstones for her late parents, they were finally installed.

“Channel 12 called and that started the ball rolling,” Clarke said.

Clarke first reached out for help in April, and the cemetery’s management said they never submitted her paperwork.

“We had to start from scratch. There was no record of my previous order, but luckily there were records of the payments,” Clarke said.

It took several months, but she finally uncovered results, though she had to find out about it for herself.

“Thank God it’s there. Nobody has called to say your headstone has been placed, so if I hadn’t have checked I wouldn’t have known,” Clarke said. “There was nobody out there but me and a few birds floating around, so they saw me do a little happy dance."

Despite having paid for a headstone months ago, one woman said the installation has not taken place.
Despite having paid for a headstone months ago, one woman said the installation has not taken place. (Source: NBC12)

But as her fight is ending, Kimberly Whitfield’s is still ongoing.

“This is my loved one and I want him to be treated just as if he was still walking the earth,” Whitfield said.

August 4 marks one year since Whitfield buried her husband. She finished paying for his headstone in January and was told it would be installed in two weeks.

It’s been six months, and the headstone is still not there.

“I still have no headstone,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield says she’s just trying to fulfill her vows she made to her late husband years ago.

“By this being his final resting place, having everything finished and complete would be closure to me,” Whitfield said.

The cemetery’s management did not respond to multiple messages sent.

“I hate to call them liars, but I don’t know what else to say because they kept saying six more weeks, six more weeks and I kept believing six more weeks, six more weeks,” Clarke said.

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