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Troubleshooters: Calvary Memorial Cemetery

READ MORE: Troubleshooters: Calvary Memorial Cemetery
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Barbara Baker called WWAY recently, concerned about the state of affairs at the cemetery where several of her family members are buried. She bought the plots at Calvary Memorial Cemetery more than a decade ago. Since then, the cemetery has changed hands, and she said things are not being kept up the way they used to be.

Barbara asked us to accompany her to Calvary Memorial cemetery on North 11th Street in Wilmington. She pointed out headstones overgrown with weeds and grass, and grave sites that are sinking in, while others have mounds of dirt piled two feet on top of them.

"It makes me feel terrible to know that this is a perpetual care cemetery, and it looks like this,” said Baker.

Visitors said ants are also a big problem.

"We bought ant killer and put it around the beds to kill the ants, that way we would be able to get to the graves,” said Harriet Garrett, whose uncle is buried at the cemetery. “It is not being well kept up. It is a nice graveyard, but it's not being well kept.”

Barbara called the owner of the cemetery to complain. She said it was not easy tracking down his number, and when she finally did a hold of him, Barbara said it did not do any good.

"The only time we get the weeds and grass from out around it is when we come out here and do it ourselves," she explained.

Calvary Memorial is not an old abandoned cemetery. In fact, people were being buried the day we visited.

We called the owner ourselves to find out what the problem is. Jack Krupicka did not want to go on camera, but explained that his operating budget is very small. While it is a perpetual care cemetery, the cemetery's endowment only generates about $5,000 a year. Jack said that does not come close to covering his operating costs for things like mowing and pest control. He said the lots sell for under a thousand dollars, and even less for families facing financial hardship. While customers appreciate the low rates, Jack said it only leaves him with enough money to mow the cemetery about 20 times a year.

As for the ant beds, he said it is a constant battle, and he only treats them when people call to complain. As for the plots where Barbara's loved ones were buried, she has called to tell us they have been spruced up considerably since we put in a call to the owner. He said he was confused as to which plots she had called to complain about, and sincerely apologized for the delay responding to her concerns.

There are laws in North Carolina regulating cemeteries. When it comes to for-profit cemeteries like Calvary Memorial, the law does require that there be a fund set aside for their perpetual care. However, the law does not define what perpetual care entails, nor does it set standards for how the grounds are to be kept up.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Mt. Calvary cemetary

I visited the cemetery yesterday and I would suggest that anyone who has relatives buried in section 13 near the flag pole sue this man. They piled even more dirt on the graves three and four feet. I called Jack and he hung up on me and never picked up again. Head stones to be placed on graves were just sitting around on the grass in boxes. My uncle who has a complete one piece five foot stone on his grave is completely covered up. You can only see a piece of his tomb sticking up. If I didn't know where he was buried, I would have lost him. My grandmother who was buried right next to him on the ground is now four feet up in the air. Therefore all of the dirt slid down and covered my uncle. I am from out ot town but there needs to be a class action lawsuit filed. People need to go and check on their loved ones because it's sad how many graves are covered up. I am sending more pictures to channel 3 and I hope they stay with the story and not ignore it.

Calvary Memorial on 11th St.

I also have relatives buried at this cemetery. I had long wished to visit and spruce up their grave sites and found this news story when I went to look for contact information. The phone numbers for Calvary Memorial are disconnected. How does one get in contact with them?

CALVARY MEMORIAL CEMETERY

I WAS HOME VISITING BACK IN APRIL AND WENT TO GO VISIT MY MOTHER AND SISTER AT CALVARY AND I WAS NOT VERY PLEASE WITH OF WHAT I SEEN.I THINK HE OR WHO EVER IT IS CAN DO BETTER THAN WHAT THEY ARE DOING THERE.IT ONCE WAS A VERY NICE AND CLEAN PLACE BUT,NOW ITS GOING DOWN VERY SLOW.I HOPE BY THE NEXT TIME I COME TO WILMINGTON THAT IT WILL BE LOOKING BETTER THAN NOW.I WILL LIKE TO THANK MRS.BAKER FOR WHAT SHE HAS DONE.