ADA, Okla. – A 78-year-old Ada woman lost her husband in January. She says she is still without the headstone she ordered for his grave.
Patricia Allison and her husband had been together more than a half-century. She buried him at Cemetery Memorial Park in Ada nine months ago. She says the proper headstone is still not in place. She was over-charged and the cemetery won’t give her money back. Cemetery owners have a different story.
“ I ordered a head stone and it never came and never came,” said Patricia Allison.
Patricia Allison is referring to the memorial monument she ordered for her husband Ira’s grave back in March. After two months, there was no stone.
“They said we promise you will have it by Memorial Day. Well, it didn’t come Memorial Day; in fact, it’s still not here,” Allison said.
She showed us a receipt that shows she paid almost $6,500 dollars for the headstone.
“When I mentioned it to the funeral home, he said, ‘Oh my goodness, he has overcharged you by at least $3,000 dollars,” Allison said.
“If she would have asked me at the time, I would have ordered it for $10,000. I would have wrote the check because you just do that,” Allison said.
When Allison called cemetery management and asked for her money back, she said they said “no.”
“They said they used it for paying the help and mowing the lawn. ‘Maybe we could just give her credit on her death when she dies; we’ll dig the hole and cover the hole free,’”Allison said.
Still waiting on the stone she ordered, the cemetery has put a temporary one in place.
“It says courtesy of Memorial Park, then his name. Maybe that wouldn’t bother some people, but it bothers me,” Allison said.
We went looking for answers in the cemetery office, asking the onsite manager for answers to Allison’s questions.
“ I would be more comfortable if you called my boss,” an employee said.
So we called cemetery owner Nick Kurz and asked about the headstone.
“The design has been approved. It’s scheduled to arrive in the next week or two,” Kurz said.
We asked if Allison had been overcharged.
“For what she is getting, that is a fair market value for that product. In some locations, this goes for nine, 10, 12 thousand dollars,” Kurz said.
I asked why Allison didn’t get her money back when she asked for it.
“We don’t have a return policy in place,” Kurz said.
We asked if that money was already spent on employees and cutting the grass like Allison had been told.
“Well, that is part of the expenses of the cemetery, yes,” Kurz said.
I asked Kurz if it’s unusual for a headstone to take eight months to get in.
“We do sell a lot of monuments, some of them take six months to be done. I’m sorry she is upset but the situation is not out of the normal,” he said.
For Allison, that’s little consolation.
“My husband and I were together for 65 years. It’s horrible… it’s horrible to lose somebody like that; then it’s really horrible when you cant do a closure with it because someone used your money. It makes you feel really bad,” Allison said.
An employee in the office told News 4 that they had to switch manufacturers and that has led to the delay. Allison said she checked with that manufacturer on Monday and the stone was still not on order.