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Local Family Sues Cemetery Over Burial Of Grandmother

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local family says their loved one’s remains weren’t treated with respect at a cemetery and now the matter is going to court.

“They just totally disrespected her body, her belief,” Lisa Carey said.

She says her 92-year-old grandmother, Agnes Zimmick, was buried at St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Shaler two years ago.

After the graveside ceremony, Carey and her daughter walked around to view other relatives’ graves, including her grandfather, Theodore Zimmick, who married her grandmother in the 40’s and died in World War II.

But when she returned, she says she saw the gravediggers trying to get the casket in the ground.

“They were jumping on top of – it looked like the coffin,” Carey said. “They had just put it down into the ground and they were jumping on it and they had the poles to try to wedge it – it looked like they were trying to wedge it down into the spot, into the burial spot.

“So the person who seemed to be in charge that day came over and had indicated that a piece of marble that was next to the actual gravesite was a tombstone of someone else that had been deceased and buried in that spot – that had disintegrated and that they had removed all of that out.

“And my concern was – ‘Are they reselling plots?’”

The cemetery denies that’s what happened. Annabelle McGannon, executive director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association, issued a statement.

“It is ludicrous to think that after 50 years, handling 3500 burials that we could allow that kind of thing to happen. One of the disappointing things about accusations like these is that the dedicated employees who have handled the dead with care are sitting ducks with no way to respond.

“The family filed a complaint and we investigated it thoroughly. We are confident after our investigation that the allegations are unfounded.”

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