102-year-old man’s wife’s grave allegedly vandalized, along with others

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102-year-old man's wife's grave allegedly vandalized, along with others

When the time comes for you to choose a resting spot when a loved one passes, you hope you choose a place where they will rest peacefully and not be disturbed. But for Herbert Walker, who is 102-years-old, got a terrible phone call that explained his wife’s grave had been allegedly vandalized at Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens.

At the age of 19, Herbert married 16-year-old Dixie. They shared 64 years of marriage together, having two children, a daughter (80) and son (78), who are alive and well.

At 102, Herbert still drives his car, mows his lawn, and frequently visits Dixie, who died in their home back in 2001. He makes sure to check the flowers roughly every two weeks, and likes to just spend time with her.

But yesterday evening, received two phone calls from neighbors who told him about the damages. A bench behind the headstone had been cracked in half, and for Herbert, too old to get himself all riled up, however upset and confused.

“I just didn’t know what to think, because they showed me the pictures where it was broke in two, but I really thought it was a dozer that did it, going and digging other graves, but it wasn’t so,” said Herbert.

Many people stopped by the cemetery to check if their graves had been touched. Joyce Surbaugh stopped by to pay her 22-year-old daughter a visit and change her flowers; she died in a car crash.

“It’s just disappointing and disheartening that people desecrate the cemetery and take things off people’s graves, destroy the grave site, these are people’s loved ones and it’s very sad,” said Surbaugh.

Cemetery staff e,only xplained that the cleanup process has already begun. Herbert’s bench has been removed and he can expect a new one within the upcoming weeks, free of charge.

Follow Haley Kosik’s stories impacting our region on Twitter or Facebook, or send her a news tip at hkosik@wowktv.com.

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