PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The past few days have been especially painful for Peter Mirish and his wife, Tracy, who live in Washington County. Peter’s mother, Nancy, died last week at St. Clair Hospital.
Her funeral was on Friday in Wheeling, West Virginia. She was 87.
Her wish was to be buried by her late husband at the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Wheeling.
Peter told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “They called up about 10 o’clock in the morning, the funeral was at 11. They said, ‘We have a problem here at the cemetery.’ They had a partial hole dug, you could see vaults, there wasn’t room [for my mother’s casket].”
Wheeling’s Mt. Zion Cemetery – with no oversight board, no permanent caretaker – has fallen into disrepair. There’s no real ownership, no trust fund to help pay for upkeep, so Ohio County, West Virginia, pretty much assumed control.
“We had family here from over eight states to pay their last respects to my mother-in-law. We’ll never be able to get that back, we’ll never have that professional to go the last mile, it’s heartbreaking,” Tracy said.
The Mirichs still can’t believe what has happened. They say they’ve been looking for someone to give them a straight answer, but they are just getting the runaround. They have reached out to the governor’s office, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and Ohio County Commissioners trying to get someone to help.
“My mother-in-law’s dying wish was to be buried next to her husband – not on top, not in front, not behind, but, beside him, like they were holding hands,” Tracy said.
Despite Nancy Mirich’s age, her son and daughter-in-law said her death came as complete shock. In fact, she was preparing to come home from the hospital, when she died.
“Our short-term goal is getting mother buried with dad. Our long-term goal is getting care for the cemetery. Besides, we can’t keep Nancy at the funeral home forever. I mean, at some point, we’ve got to bury here,” Tracy said.