Damage at Holly Memorial Gardens in Colerain upsetting; heavy vehicle driven on property damages graves
COLERAIN — When Sharon Dunfee went to visit her loved ones’ graves this past weekend she discovered someone had driven a heavy vehicle over graves, damaging some markers and flower vases at Holly Memorial Gardens.
Dunfee said her parents’ and sister’s markers were not damaged, but others were. She was so upset about it she decided to post several photos she took of the damage on social media to let others know what had happened.
“My husband and I yesterday went to take the grave blankets off my parents’ and sister’s graves,” Dunfee said Monday. “I noticed all these big tire tracks. I looked at my husband and, excuse my language, said, ‘What in the hell is going on?’
“It went right through where my parents’ and sisters’ graves are,” she added. “We started following the tracks. … Some markers were really messed up.”
Dunfee said her husband, Don, guessed the tracks were caused by a backhoe.
“My husband and I, we spent over two hours there. I was devastated,” Dunfee said.
Dunfee said she visits the cemetery about once a month, usually on her loved ones’ birthdays or anniversaries of their deaths. During her last visit on Feb. 6 there was no damage, she said.
Officials with Holly Memorial Gardens referred questions to parent company Dignity Memorial. In response, Dignity Memorial provided the following statement:
“Holly Memorial Gardens is committed to providing all families with a peaceful environment for visitation and remembrance. Our cemetery has been impacted by the large amount of rain in the area over the past several weeks. We have developed a plan and are in the process of restoring the cemetery grounds as the weather allows. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused visitors to the park. We value the relationships we have with our client families and encourage anyone with concerns to contact us directly.”
The cemetery representatives did not address whether the damage was accidentally caused by a worker’s vehicle or whether it was a possible act of vandalism.
Dunfee noted she went back to the cemetery Monday and noticed there were more people there checking on the conditions of their loved ones’ graves.
“I am very upset about it. My family’s markers were not destroyed, but I feel bad for all the other families. I hope Holly Memorial takes care of this. These markers are not cheap,” she said.