Richwood Memorial Garden Manager removes headstones, local families grieve

A family is now considering taking legal actions
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 11:10 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A family is devastated after finding out their loved one’s headstone was removed at Richwood Memorial Garden, and we spoke with the family about their experience.

The Monroe family says their loved one passed away unexpectedly in June of 2021 and they paid in full for the headstone that was put down right after Christmas but, when they returned 3 days later, the headstone was gone.

Most families are still grieving after the loss of a loved one. So many people go back to the gravesite to visit their final resting place, but a Monroe resident Genoris Bridges says when they didn’t see the headstone, it reopened the wound.

“To see my mom cry like that, it hurt me all over again because that’s something I can’t fix, but we had finally got to a point of peace and completion, and he just made us grieve all over again with that. It hurt me to know that he moved the tombstone without even notifying the family. It’s like he has any compassion, and it’s all about the money” said Bridges, a Monroe resident.

Bridges says the Richwood Memorial Garden Manager told them it was removed due to a $75 headstone installation fee, but she says she wasn’t aware of it and it’s not in writing.

“We’re definitely filing a complaint. We’re going to get a lawyer and see whatever legal advice that they say we need to do because it has to stop,” said Bridges.

McFarland Funeral Home Volunteer Donterrio Anderson says last week he received hundreds of phone calls from families with similar issues and he has experienced his own problems with headstone placement.

“I have a grandmother out there. I have a grandfather out there. I have aunts and uncles out there. Now I can’t even find their headstones and if you go out there and look next to the building, you can see about 50 headstones that he’s taken up,” said Anderson, McFarland Funeral Home Volunteer.

We reached out to The Richwood Memorial Cemetery Manager Keith McDough to find out how many headstones were removed. He sent a statement saying in part:

“The installation fee for the headstones must be purchased from other places besides Richwood Garden.”

He says only two headstones were removed but they are now replaced.

Bridges says to check on your loved ones’ headstones at Richwood Memorial Garden. She says she hopes no other family has to experience this.

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