October 7, 2008

Parks director responds to mistaken burial at Graceland Cemetery

Donnie Snow, director of parks, recreation and cultural services, for the city of Racine responded Tuesday to a story about two caskets being buried in the wrong plots at Graceland Cemetery.

Here's his response:
To: Media
From: Donnie Snow
Re: Recent burial in Graceland Cemetery
Date: October 7, 2008
On October 7, 2008, the Racine Journal Times published an article concerning the burial of Mary I. Jeffries. The reporter’s assessment of the mix up with the burial of Ms. Jeffries is unfortunate and undeniably correct; Ms. Jeffries was buried in the wrong plot at Graceland Cemetery.

Ms. Jeffries was initially buried in the plot reserved for Artelia Collins, and vice versa. Both of the deceased were buried on December 21, 2007, both burials were scheduled for 12:30 p.m. that day and the same funeral home handled both burials. On the morning of the burials the funeral home contacted the cemetery to inform the cemetery personnel that one of the families was in route to the cemetery. The funeral home did not inform cemetery personnel that the other family was in route to the cemetery as well. The other family arrived first, and the cemetery director followed the notice that had been received by telephone from the funeral home on the morning of the scheduled burials.

Upon the Hamptons contacting the cemetery, the cemetery director, Steve Bedard, contacted the family of the Ms. Collins, and they have asked for privacy in this matter. Since the discovery of the incident, Graceland Cemetery has exhumed the caskets and placed them in their rightful locations. There are no indications that would lead the City of Racine to believe that anyone else is buried in the wrong location. I want to assure the public that this kind of mix up is in no way usual and customary as to how the cemetery is administered; this was an unusual set of circumstances that caused this occurrence. We try hard and do our best to avoid these kinds of mistakes. Nevertheless, however rare these kinds of mistakes occur, when they do happen they are unacceptable. Moreover, each hearse entering a city-owned cemetery will now be received at the gates of Mound and Graceland Cemetery where they will be required to identify the deceased before proceeding.

The City of Racine regrets this incident and extends its deepest sympathies to each of the families.

1 comment:

  1. This is not the only case of this recently - dig deeper guys.