Clarkton cemetery accused of damaging, not maintaining grave sit - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Clarkton cemetery accused of damaging, not maintaining grave sites


We all want our loved-ones’ final resting place to be well-kept, but some families from Clarkton say that’s not what they’re getting at Stanfield Cemetery.

Some of the complaints are of grass growing over stones, broken monuments and loose grass and dirt from mowers covering memorials.

Now, some people who have family members laid to rest there are calling it disrespectful. However, the president of the cemetery board said there’s simply not enough money to fix those issues.

“This right here is how high it was and [there] was just grass and dirt [that] had been thrown from mowing,” Theresa Henfling said as she points out her parent’s gravestone.

Henfling said that’s what she found when she came to Stanfield Cemetery last week.

“We literally had to pull it and dig it with a shovel,” Henfling said.

As for her father’s military plaque, she said it looks like the mower ran right over it.

“It’s broken here. The brass is eaten up on it,” Henfling said.

She’s not the only family member concerned. Other people spoke out on Facebook calling it “disrespectful” and “frustrating.” Another woman even said she hopes her mother changes her mind about being laid to rest there.

“It just breaks your heart to see some of these,” Henfling said. “As you can tell, there’s something going on here that isn’t right.”

President of the cemetery board, Lester Wiseman, said the cemetery runs on donations. The board gets about $10,000 every year and they spend it all on mowing and upkeep. Wiseman said when stones get damaged, it’s up to the family to repair them.

“It just looks to me like the stone has been knocked over and no one takes the time to pick it up and put it back,” Henfling said as she pointed out a grave stone that had fallen off its base.

Wiseman said the same goes for stones that are overgrown.

“Look, you can’t even read it,” Henfling said as she pulled grass off a military stone.

Still, Henfling and others think their families deserve more.

“These people were hard-workers, they were veterans, they need to be respected,” Henfling said.

Henfling said the cost of the burial and plot pays for the maintenance and upkeep of the grave site, but Wiseman said that’s not the case. He said the board always welcomes donations to help improve the cemetery.   

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