ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – It’s a sight no family wants to see as they prepare to celebrate their loved one’s life.
“The grass and weeds were knee high,” said Sabrina Holcomb. “All of the trash cans were overflowing. There was a lot of debris, old flower arrangements, just paper garbage, balloons that no longer had air in them thrown into the woods off to the back of the cemetery.”
Holcomb’s father is buried at Marshall Memorial Gardens in Albertville. Her mother is also planning to be laid to rest there. But now, she’s rethinking that decision despite already paying in full.
“They’ve never done a superb job, but it had never looked as bad as it had looked this past Sunday,” Holcomb said.
To prepare for decoration day, Holcomb’s brother took cleanup into his own hands by bringing his personal lawn care equipment. She says others also took care of the maintenance themselves.
“It’s one thing for them to not keep it in pristine condition any other time of the year, but to not have it looking as good as it can for decoration day I think tells you all you need to know, personally,” Holcomb said.
A company spokesperson refutes the claim that the grass was knee high, saying it had been cut 10 days prior. The spokesperson also said the trash was taken out multiple times Friday and Saturday.
The spokesperson said the employee assigned to mowing was hospitalized Saturday and unable to complete the remaining two gardens that were not mowed.
Holcomb says she and others want to see better management at the cemetery.
“Perpetual care means the family doesn’t have to go out there and care for it,” she said. “It’s just that simple.”
This is the latest in a long line of complaints against Marshall Memorial Gardens. In December, several people were upset after a newly-buried vault became unburied. And in December 2018, there were also complaints of deep tire tracks in the grass and even on some of the graves.