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Family upset, cemetery will make right its mistake with gravesite plot

Scott, center, and Terry Daly, right, along with their son, Travis, look over the grave of Beverly Jean Daly, Scott's mother, in Fairview Cemetery in Willmar. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

WILLMAR -- A cemetery caretaker's mistake led to a woman's body being placed in a gravesite plot previously reserved for her brother, upsetting the family but also soliciting a promise by the Fairview Cemetery Association to correct the situation.

Scott Daly and his wife Terry of rural Willmar said they were upset when their son, Travis Daly, went to visit his paternal grandmother's grave on June 20 and discovered that a new grave had been dug to her right. Scott and Terry Daly have a deed showing they purchased two gravesites to the right of his mother Beverly Jean Daly (March 19, 1927 - March 10, 1998). The plots were purchased in Dec., 1999.

Pat Handt, who has been working to improve the maps for Fairview Cemetery, said it was a human error on her part that led the body of Jean DeZeeuw (May 18, 1956 - June 9, 2009) to be interred to the right of her mother. Handt said the traditional practice in cemeteries is to bury the deceased daughters to the right of their mother's body and sons to the left.

In this case, Scott Daly had wanted to be placed immediately to the right of his mother, with plans that his wife Terry's body would be buried to his immediate right.

Scott Daly said the matter is upsetting to him, as he was diagnosed with metastatic squamous neck cancer three years ago at the age of 48. He's had a series of subsequent, health related issues.

Handt said the association has sent a certified letter to a son of Jean DeZeeuw requesting his approval to move her body to the left of her mother. The association is waiting for a reply. She said it is the association's intent to correct the matter by moving the grave of DeZeeuw in accordance with Terry and Scott Daly's request that their original deed be recognized.

Attorney Dawn Weber of New London, who is representing the Daly's, said the cemetery made a mistake and is responsible for correcting it.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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