One widower's headstone trouble

Seven On Your Side
January 2, 2008 2:56:47 PM PST
Heartache turns to frustration when a man mourning the death of his wife then had a hard time getting her headstone installed. When he couldn't get action, he turned to Seven On Your Side.

The widower was first anguished then angry. Why did it take months to get a headstone that was supposed to be placed in just weeks? It was up to us to provide some much needed comfort.

No matter what the weather, Gary Pandolfo visits his wife's grave each and every week.

Gary and his wife Betty were together for nearly 20 years. She lost a four year battle to lung cancer last June.

Ever since, Gary's been waiting for her headstone to arrive. His bouquets of flowers are all that marks her final resting place.

"To not see her have a headstone after all this time and it just aggravates me," Gary said.

Last September, Gary paid Pelham Memorials in full to design and place a headstone at Betty's gravesite. The contract promised the stone would be set six weeks later.

"Now the time has passed, no phone calls, I keep calling the office, no return calls, I keep calling the office, no return calls whatsoever, and I'm wondering, I'm saying something's wrong here," Gary said.

And now there's a race against time. Before the headstone can be set the cemetery has to pour the concrete base -- but not if it's too cold.

"So now we have a real problem now it may not go in till next March or April," Gary said.

So we went to Pelham Memorials, and found the owner. The owner said an illness delayed Gary's headstone.

And just days later?

"Oh, it's beautiful. Thank goodness," Gary said.

The owner of Pelham Monuments also said there was a production delay in preparing the stone. But we found out from the cemetery that no one from Pelham Monuments had contacted them or submitted any paperwork for the installation until after our visit.