Women upset at cemetery's plans for their sons' graves

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Two York County women say they are upset at the plans a cemetery has for the area around their sons' graves.

Angie Redden and Jackie Patterson say they've been given until 5:00pm Saturday to remove displays around their son's graves. "I mean, this is all I got, this is all I got left of him," said Redden as she stood with Patterson near their sons' graves at the Beersheba Cemetery, which is on S. Beersheba Road in western York County.

Redden says she put up a display with a small concrete border and rocks at her son Shane's grave shortly after he died five Decembers ago. "I saw other graves had the borders and the rocks and I thought it looked really nice," Redden said.

Redden says she read the cemetery rules carefully and believes she followed all of them. But she and Patterson, whose son Jamie is buried nearby, say the Beersheba Cemetery Association has told them that in an effort to beautify the cemetery, the displays at their sons' and other graves must go.

"I just want to be left alone," Redden said. "I want them to leave [my son's] grave alone. I want them to leave Jamie's alone. Those are our children, you know."

The rules posted at the cemetery say that only the headstone or base can be above ground, and that the custodian can remove items that don't meet that rule. But the rules were revised in 2009, which is well after the Redden and Patterson's sons were buried. An older copy of the rules does not have the above-ground rule written on it.

"If they want to change the rules, that's up to them," Redden said. "But I think whatever rules were here when I bought his plot, that's what I should go by."

We went to the address of Marvin Goforth, the man the women say heads the Beersheba Cemetery Association. A woman opened the door and said she and a man inside had no comment.

Both she and another woman associated with the cemetery we reached refused to give out the name or phone number for the cemetery association's lawyer.

The cemetery has already begun removing concrete from gravesites. Redden and Patterson hope the association will not follow through with removing what they've places at their sons' gravesites. "It's Christmas," said Patterson. "Give us a break."

"I don't want to fight with these people," Patterson added.

"I don't either," said Redden.

Patterson added, "I just want to be left alone."

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