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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A final resting place, or so they thought. Friends and family of loved ones buried at Calvary Memorial Cemetery in Wilmington say they’re not only discouraged with the conditions of the ground but at this point, they don’t even know where their loved ones are buried.

“It’s alarming to me to see a cemetery being kept that way because that’s not what I know of North Carolina of how they respect their dead,” said Terrina Henderson-Brooks.

Henderson-Brooks says Calvary is where most of her family is buried. She says when she went to visit her family’s graves, because of the piles of dirt spread everywhere, she could not find them.

“My uncle who has a whole 5 piece slab over his coffin, it’s totally covered up,” said Henderson-Brooks.

Jack Krupicka owns the cemetery. He did not want to talk on camera but he told us he is trying to build up the plot so that it does not flood. On top of the pile of dirt, headstones of veterans who are buried in the cemetery are scattered across the grounds, some still in their boxes. Krupicka says he is working on getting all the tombstones places in their proper position as soon as possible.

Henderson-Brooks says she does not care what the reasoning is, she thinks it’s disrespectful to those who have passed.

“I’ve never known North Carolina or anyone to be that grossly negligent to the dead,” said Henderson-Brooks.

Krupicka says he plans to have all the adjustments completed by tomorrow so that the grave sites will be suitable for families to visit on Easter. He says he always tries to work with requests from families.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest327

    Obviously the graves did not get this way over night. May be the families should have been monitoring the condition of their loved one’s graves over the years.

  • Graveyardification

    Same message holds true for Oakdale Cemetary..
    Went two weeks ago to my Grandfather’s grave…
    You can tell the owners could care less about the upkeep of the grounds…
    With all the idiotic laws this state has its a shame they don’t pass one to protect and require regular upkeep where family and loved ones are burried.
    To not do so is completely disrespecting and disgracing the deceased…. Our loved ones.

  • Das Weibstück

    Question, how do graveyards make money once they are full? Is this one full yet? This man sounds like a total ass !! I will be cremated as my entire family has been and will be so I don’t worry about this sort of thing but I would be pissed if this were my families resting place.

  • Audrey Clark

    I have had numerous conversations with Jack Krupicka concerning the condition and care of Calvary Cemetery. My last conversation with Jack was a couple of days before Father’s Day last year when I visted the cemetery to place flowers on my husband and father’s graves. The condition was/is deplorable(I took pictures to validate my concerns). The conversation with Jack was extremely unpleasant. His attitude of disrespect for our loved ones and his flippant attitude toward the care of the cemetery and his nonchalant attitude left me enraged. I voiced my concern to Jack regarding the fact that it was Father’s Day and it is already a depressing time to have to visit your loved one at the cemetery, but it is even more stressful when you see the total disrespect and non-care that is given to the care of the cemetery. At this point, Jack informed me that Father’s Day was just one day and that it was not scheduled to be cut before and he would try, but he wasn’t promising anything. The cemetery is an eyesore and he seems so far removed and he just gives the ambiance of unconcern. Jack inherited the cemetery from his father-in-law who was quite different in his perspective of “perpetual care”. Mr. Rehder and his wife took great pain in maintaining the cemetery and had a full time caretaker. His name was Danny and he maintained the grounds in an exemplary manner and the grounds were always well manicured. Danny was very concerned, compassionate, loyal, devoted and a hard worker who took great pride in taking care of our loves ones entrusted to his care. Calvary Cemetery was in immaculate condition and it made your visitation with your loved one less stressful because you felt the care that was there displayed by the caretaker’s compassion. The first thing that Jack did when he took over the cemetery was to fire Danny and thus ended the compassion and care that went into the cemetery. Danny was a problem solver. Whenever a situation arose at the cemetery, he was quick to correct the problem to the satisfaction of the family. He knew where each individual was buried and he would give the impression that he knew each person on a personal level. After having the conversation with Jack last Father’s Day, I called Raleigh to the state burial association to lodge a complaint against Jack and they informed me that they were shocked because they had never had a complaint before, which I knew was not true. There was a petition circulating a year or so ago, regarding this issue and it was sent to the state. After the petition was circulated, Jack’s change was short lived and he soon reverted to his old ways again. It is difficult to reach him by phone because he receives so many complaints. I usually change my calls to show private call in order to reach him or I read the obituary column to see when a burial is to take place at Calvary, and take the chance of seeing him them. The situation at Calvary has not just started,and it is an ongoing problem. It does not seem to be an end to it. Jack could easily be characterized as a “slum lord”. The cost of moving a grave is costly, so Jack has us over a barrel. Jack is a pianist at a club downtown, and I am sure that he doesn’t want to injure his hands or not be able to perform. In this case, he should hire someone who is capable to perform the cemetery’s maintenance and or not be overly concerned about injury to the hands. One last thought regarding the maintenance or lack thereof would be the fact that Calvary Cemetery is predominantly a black cemetery, could this contribute to his lack of concern, care or respect for the perpetual care of our loved ones?

  • James E. Lewis

    I want the public to know that this cemetery hasn’t always been in this condition. Whoever was managing this cemetery prior to Mr.Krupicka took over was doing a rather reasonable job. They had a staff that kept the grass cut and the trash empty and they had someone who knew how to properly dig graves.
    Mr. Krupicka decided to be a one man work crew and it seems like he did this without the knowledge of what he exactly got himself involved in. I’ve always been taught if you want to succeed in business hire people smarter than you or at least people who have a little more knowledge about the business that you are involved in. I have come to this cemetery quite often to check the headstones of my love ones to make sure that they aren’t damaged by the equipment they use to open and close the grave sites. May I suggest to Mr. Krupicka to hire some professional who know how to properly take care of cemetery.

  • Barbara Baker

    Calvary Cemetery didn’t get into this situation overnight, until the proper caretaker’s are hired, the problems we as family members face with our plots in Calvary will continue. I contacted the TV station a couple of years ago and the problems from then still exist today. If the Black community and Black Mortuarys pull together and stop buying plots from Jack Krupicka, maybe he would take better care of the plots and stop ignoring our calls. He only answers if you want to buy a plot. I personally feel after all the years I have tried to get Jack Krupicka to get Calvary in decent condition, he has no intention of doing any better by our loved ones at Calvary Cemetery.

  • David R.

    I would be willing to see if I could help this Mr. Jack Krupicka. If help is what he needs.
    I don’t know how to contact him. Please forward this message to him.
    Contact me at dlronline@netzero.com.


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