GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – Members of a Mesa County family are taking matters into their own hands as they try to ensure their loved ones’ final resting place is treated with respect.
Last Mother’s Day, the family visited gravesites at Memorial Gardens Cemetery, but what they found left them hopeless. The cemetery‘s water pump broke down last summer.
Seven months later, the water is back, but the grass may have already passed the recovery point.
Larry Cappetto says that while a water pump at Memorial Gardens Cemetery was on standby, the cemetery lawns dried up, “I met an elderly lady who has family members here and no pun intended, she said she had never seen this cemetery so dead,” Cappetto mentioned.
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His family brought jugs of water to the cemetery and watered the graves of their loved ones, as the piece ran out, “We have other plots here, but I don’t want to be buried here, it’s at how much it impacted me,” says Capetto.
Cappetto is now begging Stonemor Inc. – the Pennsylvania-based cooperative cemetery owner, to do something about it, his message? “Take care of!” Cappetto says: “We live and die here and you’re definitely out of touch and we were in tears on Mother’s Day because we didn’t see, we saw dirt, it’s like a bowl dust here,” Cappetto said.
Last summer, when the Memorial Gardens water pump went out, cemetery officials told many families the piece was rare and were told it was on the way: “It’s the worst condition I have ever seen in this cemetery and I have never seen this place as dead as it does,” says Wilda.
In April, the pump was started, then after three waterings it broke down, again: “It’s very, very sad,” says Wilda.
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Walking the grounds of Memorial Gardens, conditions are still dry and the green spots are fighting for survival. “I mean they’ve started watering, but it’s going to take a lot more than just water,” Cappetto says. “It’s going to take blood sweat and tears and seeds and turf.
KREX 5 has contacted Stonemor Inc. for comment and they have provided us with the following statement.
“We apologize for the time it took to get the pump parts, the garden should be back to standard in the coming weeks, and we look forward to restoring the garden to its former glory.”
Cappetto and other families pay for routine upkeep here, his response? They better, “Stonemor Inc. if these courts aren’t 100% better, it’s on you, and I dare you, come on and let’s do something,” Cappetto says.
Larry Cappetto and his family plan to return to the Memorial Gardens this Memorial Day.
To the other families in Grand Junction, they hope to see you there and that the cemetery lawn is improving.
To watch Larry Cappetto’s full video, visit Memorial Gardens, Grand Junction, Colorado, Stonemor Inc.