GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Members of a Mesa County family are taking matters into their own hands trying to make sure the final resting place of their relatives is treated with respect.

This past Mother’s Day, the family visited gravesites at Memorial Gardens cemetery but what they found left them feeling hopeless. The cemetery’s water pump broke last summer.

Seven months later, the water is now back on, but the grass may already be beyond the point of recovery.

Larry Cappetto says while a water pump at Memorial Gardens cemetery was on hold, the cemetery’s lawns dried up, “I met an older lady who has family members here and no pun intended she said, she has never seen this cemetery so dead,” Cappetto said.

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His family would take water jugs to the cemetery and water their loved one’s graves, while the part was on back order, “We have other plots here, but I don’t want to be buried here, that’s how much this has impacted me,” Cappetto says.

Now Cappetto is pleading with Stonemor Inc. –the cemetery’s cooperate owner based in Pennsylvania, to do something about it, his message? “To care!” Cappetto says, “We do the living and dying out here and you are definitely out of touch and we were in tears on Mother’s Day because we did not see, we saw dirt, it’s like a dust bowl out here,” Cappetto says.

Last Summer, when the water pump at Memorial Gardens went out, cemetery managers told many families the part was rare and they were told it was on the way, “This is the worst condition I have seen this cemetery I’ve ever seen and I’ve never seen this place look as dead as it does,” Wilda says.

In April, the pump was turned on, then after three watering, it failed, again, “It’s very, very sad,” Wilda says.

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Walking the grounds at Memorial Gardens, conditions are still dry and green patches fight for survival, “I want to say they have started watering, but it’s going to need a lot more than water,” Cappetto says, “It’s going to need blood sweat and tears and some seed and some sod.”

KREX 5 reached out to Stonemor Inc. for comment and they provided us with the following statement.
“We apologize for the time it took to obtain the parts for the pump, the garden should be back to standard in the coming weeks, and we look forward to getting the garden back to its former beauty.”

Cappetto and other families pay for ongoing maintenance here, his response? They’d better, “Stonemor Inc. if these grounds don’t look 100% better it’s on you, and I challenge you, come on out and let’s do something,” Cappetto says.

Larry Cappetto and his family plans to return to memorial gardens this Memorial Day.

For other families in Grand Junction, they hope they see you out there and that the cemetery’s lawn is improving.

To watch Larry Cappetto’s full video visit Memorial Gardens, Grand Junction, Colorado, Stonemor Inc.