Families of loved ones at Laurens County cemetery calling for ‘desperately needed’ repairs at mausoleum

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LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – Some Laurens County families are pleading for help with the final resting places of their loved ones. They told 7 News the mausoleum at a cemetery there is in need of major repairs. Over a dozen families are rallying for it to be fixed. If not, they’re considering something they never imagined.

A quiet and peaceful resting place offering a chance to remember loved ones.

That was the initial intention of over a dozen people who gathered on the mausoleum grounds Wednesday afternoon at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Laurens.

“My parents are here, my aunt and uncle are here, and another aunt and uncle over here,” Laurens County Resident, Bess Caldwell said.

But now some of these Laurens County neighbors are debating something they never imagined, moving their deceased loved ones. The reason why?

They said it has to do with the condition of the structure. They told 7 News that includes a partially tarp-covered roof with some pieces hanging down and Bess Caldwell said rain trickling through the cracks.

“There was water running down the front of the crypts,” Caldwell told us.

Caldwell told us she has been pushing for those repairs and more to be done for months.

“My children don’t have to take care of anything because I’ve paid for this,” said Caldwell.

Now this group is taking action, even contacting both state and local leaders.

A spokesperson with the company that owns the cemetery told 7 News, repairing the mausoleum is a big project and they want to make sure it’s done properly. Adding, they hope to get repairs underway shortly.

People like Edna Williams are hoping those repairs come sooner rather than later.

“We put them here to rest in peace and how can they rest in peace with the condition of the cemetery,” asked Laurens County Resident, Edna Williams.

The spokesperson with the company that owns the cemetery sent us the following statement:

“We are aware of the issues at this cemetery. Repairing the mausoleum is a big project and StoneMor wants to be sure that it is done properly.  To that end, ground studies and engineering reports need to be obtained before proceeding with actual work.  Our hope and desire is to get this project underway shortly and we are working diligently to make this happen. We will provide updates to our families as we move forward with the project.”

There is a state board that is responsible for licensing all entities engaging in the business of operating a perpetual care cemetery. For additional information, here is a link to their website: https://llr.sc.gov/cem/.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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