PINSON, Ala. (WIAT) — Many families want their loved ones buried in beautiful areas both out of respect for the person’s life and to make visiting and honoring their life a more enjoyable experience. One family is angry about the conditions of a cemetery in Pinson, ranging from unkempt grass and weeds to disturbed graves.
The McCaleb family drives an hour each way to Sunrise Memorial Gardens to visit their four-month-old baby Marlee “LuLu” Jo. Lately, the family says what should be a sweet trip filled with love and memories has been tainted by the conditions of the cemetery grounds.
“I want to be able to want to come here more,” says Emma McCaleb, LuLu’s older sister.
LuLu was buried at Sunrise Memorial Gardens in 2009. McCaleb says since then, her family has made two trips a year to her graveside.
“We trusted these people to take care of the graves and keep up the place and we come here to enjoy her birthday and it’s just not what we expected to see when we got here,” says McCaleb.
Trash along the road, weeds, tall grass covering headstones, graves that have been dug into and an abandoned office building, these are the conditions the McCaleb family was met with when visiting LuLu. The family says they called the cemetery to have the grounds picked up and ask why it had gotten to its current condition.
“He wouldn’t let us speak or ask him questions or anything like that, and he hung up in my mom’s face,” says McCaleb. “I don’t understand why he would do that or let any of these people’s graves look like that.”
The McCaleb family says they weren’t given a name of the man on the phone.
Attempts to reach Sunrise Memorial Gardens, using two different phone numbers listed on its sign, were met with a phone disconnected message and a foreign voicemail box.
The McCaleb family says they just want to see the cemetery grounds picked up and regularly taken care of, if not by the cemetery owners then by volunteers or the families.