RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — It’s hard enough to have to bury a loved one, but a Randolph County family says their funeral planning was a painful and emotional process because of mistakes at a local cemetery.
When Sharon Kenney unexpectedly lost her mother this fall, she and her family went to Randolph Memorial Park Cemetery to begin the burial process. That’s when the trouble started.
“It’s just a big mess,” Kenney said.
In 2009, Kenney’s parents purchased side-by-side plots. She showed FOX8 the paperwork detailing what they paid for.
She and her dad were told a different story when they met with cemetery employees.
“One of the biggest things that almost devastated my father was they gave us the wrong information about his plots,” Kenney explained.
They told Kenney her parents would be buried on top of each other.
Employees later apologized and admitted they made a mistake. On the day of the funeral, another problem came up—this time with seating which Kenney says was discussed several times in detail.
“I spoke to the person that was going to be in charge of our service that morning at 11:00. She assured me that chairs would be social distanced apart. So that would’ve been the fifth phone call. I had three phone calls with the manager herself, and they told me that it was company policy to do that,” Kenney said.
When the family arrived at Randolph Memorial, they tell FOX8 they found the chairs in two rows of 15, all side-by-side.
“All of our family members that drove from out of town were standing in the back of the mausoleum,” Kenney recalled.
The family faced even more frustration and disappointment when they were told there was a typo on her mother’s gravestone.
“We just found out Friday, last Friday, that they put the wrong death date on it,” Kenney said.
An artificial wreath she placed on the grave was removed.
Kenney contacted StoneMor, the company that owns the grounds, to report the problems and tells FOX8 she received a response through text message saying her concerns were heard.
“Who sends a text message to resolve an issue,” Kenney said in disbelief. “To the family members that are going through the death of their loved one, it is a big deal.”
FOX8 reached out to StoneMor corporate several times over the last week. Thursday afternoon we received the following:
“We are very sorry to hear there was a family who had a negative experience. We would like to have the opportunity to resolve this with the family and will be reaching out to them again directly.”