A family whose laid many of their loved ones to rest in the Lakewood Memorial Cemetery in Jackson is demanding action against poor conditions the property is in making it difficult to safely access the gravestones.
Absolutely since the 1960’s the Coughlin family has buried 18 relatives in the cemetery off Clinton boulevard, but for years now the roads have fallen apart and grounds are unfriendly for elderly people to walk in. So they’re taking action online for change.
Meant to be a place to mourn and celebrate lives has developed serious hazards just to drive through.
“My grandfather who turns 90 next month there’s pot holes and different broken roads and driving through is very dangerous for him in my opinion, Nick Coughlin told us. “Most of the time someone has to come with him and walk to the cemetery.”
Then right at the area where the family is buried are mini sink holes and drop offs next to the grave stones surrounded by ant hills and over grown grass covering names.
“I stood there and thought I am heart broken,” Cathy Coughlin said. “My mother is lying here in such an ill kept place that is supposed to be a place of peace, comfort, serenity.”
“The picture that I put on the petition was actually the picture of my brother and I helping my grandfather get back to his vehicle leaving the graveside,” Nick said. “Cause he couldn’t walk through the area there was so many holes in the grass.”
After countless calls and complaints to the funeral home and Service Corporation International who owns the property, the Coughlin’s are taking their case online gathering over 1500 signatures demanding the place be fixed.
“Those dollars come from the people whose loved ones are in their property,” Cathy stated. “With the expectation that they be cared for and taken care of because they can’t do it themselves.”
And shining light on the matter shows the Coughlin’s are not alone.
“The responses all echoed the same, they didn’t vary,” Cathy said. “It was that they had complained, they had asked and when you drive through there the neglect it has not happened over night. It has been ill kept grounds for a very long time.”
We reached out to SCI who acknowledged they have taken notice of the petition and do have plans to renovate the grounds. They said they’ll give us a statement Friday on how it will happen.
To add your name to the Coughlin petition urging SCI to fix the cemetery grounds and roads click here.