MOODY, TX — A memorial mixup in Moody, has some folks in town angry at a cemetery association that says it was just trying to keep the place looking nice. Now, the association says it could use a little help keeping up the grounds.
It comes as a Central Texas mother says she’s terribly upset by vandalism at her son’s grave. Who did it? She blames the cemetery board.
Meloney Jefferson can't put back all the things removed from her son Jace's gravesite this week, because they sit broken and in trash piles at the edge of the cemetery. She says the sight made her cry.
”I was completely disgusted. My heart was broken,” she said.
A quick look around showed things taken from other gravesites, too.
”It looked like somebody went through taking all the decorations and mementos off some of the graves and broke them up and put them in piles,” said Meloney's dad, Bob Quackenbush.
Then Jefferson got a bigger shock. The so-called "vandalism" came from cemetery groundskeepers.
”How does that make me feel? Even worse. I think I would have felt better had it been, you know, a bad mistake,” she said.
The cemetery association doesn't generally allow decorative items in this part of the cemetery, but had overlooked them in recent years. But when Jerry Cagle and another man took over landscaping for this huge plot of land, they realized they needed a little help.
”People don't realize what kind of problem it causes it to put [items], and when they bring it out, they just keep adding to it,” Cagle explained.
Cagle posted signs in the back section of the cemetery, but admits he only left them up about a day before taking action.
"I might not have done it the right way, but I posted the thing and then I started picking up things, and it upset a lot of people and I understand that,” he said.
The cemetery association has a fundraising campaign underway to raise $135,000 dollars for the up keep of the place. If you'd like to support the cemetery, you can write a check to the Moody Cemetery Association and mail it Post Office Box 25, Moody, TX, 76557. You can also make it out to the Waco Foundation/Moody Cemetery Association and mail it to the Care of the Waco Foundation, 1227 N. Valley Mills Dr. #235, Waco, TX 76710.
Meantime, families say a little more notice would help.
”If we know what a problem it is, it's easier for us to get out here and get it fixed," said Quackenbush.
Experts who deal with this kind of thing say knowing a cemetery’s rules ahead of time can help you choose the right place to bury your loved one where you can honor them the way you want.