Contact 2: Washington Park Cemetery Seeks Volunteers

BERKELEY, MO (KTVI) – In Contact 2 we’re following up on our story about the vandalized burial vault in the Washington Park Cemetery in Berkeley.

People have come forward to ensure the remains of a little boy are properly interred.  And a grassroots effort is underway to get volunteers to remove the overgrowth in other parts of the cemetery.

The owner of Washington Park Cemetery has come under fire for the overgrowth in the cemetery and for not maintaining a 90 year old burial vault.  It contains the remains of a young child.

Kevin Bailey accepts responsibility. But he says limited resources prevent him from doing much about conditions.  His situation may be changing though.   He tells me a lot of people have called him.

When funeral director Calvin Whitaker heard our story about the condition of the vault he stepped up to help.  ‘

“What we would like to do is inter this young child, that way we won’t have this situation in the future. He will be buried underground. He will have ceremony.”     

Chris Kuseski of Tree City Masonry also called to offer assistance. 

“I had some ideas for doing a little sitting area with a stone bench and possibly use some of the original crypt.”

Calvin thinks an inscribed stone found on the ground was actually on top of the vault.    Chris says it should be a part of the restored memorial. 

Kuseski says, “Just coming up with some ideas…using a little bit of the old and mix it with some materials I have left over from jobs and make a nice little memorial area.”

Calvin saethys in his line of work you respond to soming like this. 

“Being in the funeral business, this is just something we just can’t let go. Even though we may have buried this child or whoever buried this child in 1922.  We always feel we`re still responsible.”

Calvin Whitaker says the child’s remains should be re-interred by the end of the week.  They are also asking volunteers to come out Saturday morning to help clear away the overgrowth in this area and other parts of the cemetery. If you can help you’ll need to bring weed eaters, mowers & chain saws.  They’re also looking for someone to donate port-a potties, dumpsters, food and water for volunteers.   

If you have consumer issues call us at Contact 2.  The toll free number is 800-782-2222.  Volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday between 11am and 1pm.

Click here: Washington Park Cemetery Clean-Up

See previous story: Crumbling Cemetery Reveals Remains; Owner Faces Fine