Families Upset About Upkeep Of OKC Cemetery

Monday, May 27th 2013, 10:03 pm
By: News 9

Overgrown grass, weeds, and broken head stones have a lot of families furious this Memorial Day.

At Trice Hill Cemetery on N. Coltrane Rd., instead of taking a moment to remember their loved ones, some were out mowing and weed eating around the graves of relatives.

The cemetery's board of directors says there's no money, no help, and really no budget to maintain the cemetery, which they say is full to capacity. They're asking for help from the community.

"It's a disgrace, you get out here, and you have to weed eat it so your flowers can be seen," said Dorothy Harding.

82-year-old Dorothy Harding and her 81-year-old husband have spent their Memorial Day, not taking a moment to remember their loved ones, but trying to clean up what they say is an overgrown mess.

"Your family is out here, and you want it to look good, you want to remember them," said Mrs. Harding. "You don't want them to be around weeds, you want it to look decent around headstones."

"We want it to look like a cemetery like it used to look," said Mr. Harding. "First time I've ever been out here, and it looks like this."

The couple has been visiting Trice Hill cemetery for more than 60 years and today was their second day here trying to make the area around loved ones plots look somewhat presentable.

"So it was just such a mess, I told my husband we got to get over there and get some of those weeds up," said Mrs. Harding.

"We just came out here and done it on our own," said Mr. Harding.

A notice on the cemetery's office door, asks that people help maintain the burial grounds.

"We don't have enough people to do this 30 acres without it being back in two, three days and have to start all over again," said Albert Smith, member of the cemetery's board of directors.

Smith says there's only three men doing a nine man job, and ground upkeep has been a struggle.

"The only money that we would have is the opening and closing of graves that have already been purchased by people," said Smith.

"It just kind of breaks your heart," said Mrs. Harding.

The cemetery's board of directors plan to submit a perpetual care fund application to help maintain the cemetery's grounds. Until then though, it's up to relatives to maintain the grounds.