WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Those with loved ones buried at the Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery are once again expressing concerns about the lack of upkeep.
Families are disappointed with how the cemetery has looked and said they want to speak with the owner to see if they can get regularly-scheduled lawn service to clean up the graves of their loved ones.
If you ask Wichita Falls resident Carolyn Gregoire how she feels about the current condition of the Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery, she’ll tell you she is upset that her son’s final resting place looks the way it does.
“Well I want to make sure my son’s grave is clean, and so when I come out here, it’s heartfelt to see that the upkeep is gone,” Gregoire said. “I get angry, I’m hurt. Anger sets in first. I have to keep talking to God because it’s just so unfair.”
After several changes of ownership in the past few years, conditions have only gotten worse. That’s why Gregoire and her son organized a clean up to try and improve the condition of the land.
“When you’re in the city or county and your grass grow too high, they fine you,” Maury Gregoire, Carolyn’s son, said. “They’ll give you a fine if you don’t cut your yard, and this is where our people’s resting home is. So if the grass is high, fine these people. Give them a fine or something maybe they’ll step up and take care of it.”
Among those at the cleanup was Wichita Falls District 2 Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem Deandra Chenault, who has family buried there as well.
“When it rains out here it floods,” Chenault said. “It’s muddy, you can’t get in the cemetery; it’s just a hot mess is what it is.”
Although some progress was made at the cleanup there is still much work to be done.
“We come out here just to do as much as we can,” Carolyn Gregoire said. “Hopefully we can make it look a little decent. We won’t be able to hit every grave because we don’t have the equipment, but we need help.”
“If they provide the stuff that we need to get it done, I promise you we will get it done,” Maury Gregoire said.
People in the community can speak out too.
“Call your county commissioner, call Barry Mahler. Tell them about your concerns out here at Eastlawn Cemetery,” Chenault said. “This has been an ongoing issue for a long time, and enough is just enough.”
“And it may cost to dig a hole, but it doesn’t cost that much to keep this graveyard clean,” Carolyn Gregoire said.
Families say it is hard to see the cemetery in this state, but they will continue to do what they can to make sure their loved ones and others have a proper final resting place.
This has been an ongoing issue with Eastlawn Memorial Cemetery dating back years.
Our reporter tried to get in contact with the owners but was unable to reach them. We’ll be sure to follow up with any developments.