Edgecombe Memorial Park describes itself online as “a place where people care.”
“It’s our goal to provide you with the best possible service at a time when you need it,” the cemetery vows on its website.
But a repeat patron of the cemetery isn’t feeling the love lately.
Bryan McIntyre took to Facebook on Sunday evening to vent frustrations over the response he said the cemetery owner gave regarding damage to a granite pillar at the resting place McIntyre will one day share with his late wife.
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“After weeks and four visits to Edgecombe Memorial Park I finally met with the owner only to have her laughingly suggest that I buy the cemetery if I wanted them to be responsible for the damage to our mausoleum,” McIntyre wrote.
Cemetery owner Jessie Thorne says it is not her responsibility to repair the crypt, which McIntyre purchased from an outside supplier. But she said she did not mean any harm when, by her account, she “jokingly asked him if he wouldn’t like to buy the cemetery.”
“The statement was made only to lighten the air and in no way was meant to upset Mr. McIntyre,” Thorne wrote in a prepared statement. “I told him that at the time of the statement. If he didn’t take it in that manner, I sincerely apologize.”
Photos included in the Facebook post show where a pillar is broken on the granite structure.
McIntyre, who said he has 11 family plots in the cemetery, said the damage isn’t covered by perpetual care at the cemetery. Thorne said she suggested that McIntyre file a claim through his homeowners insurance, but McIntyre said that option wouldn’t save him any money in the long run.
He figured the cemetery would pay for the repair on belief the damage was caused by a mower.
“The granite professionals tell me that since there is no chip in the granite that it was hit by a large rubber object like a tractor tire,” McIntyre wrote.
Thorne said cemetery staff assured her the damage was not caused during maintenance. She said she, too, consulted with experts and was told it was likely a newer car with a plastic bumper that hit the crypt, which sits close to a road in the cemetery.
Many people sympathized with McIntyre in comments on his post, some even sharing their own cemetery experiences.
He said the dispute stings even more because it misrepresents the Tarboro community that he said has greatly supported his family through personal hardships over the years.
“My boys and I are heartbroken not for the $1,200 we’ll pay for repairs but for the insensitivity and unconcern for the damage,” McIntyre said in the post. “The unprofessionalism of the management is disheartening.”