Family says loved ones’ graves at St. Louis county cemetery are in ‘horrible condition’


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A family said that the graves of their loved ones at a St. Louis county cemetery are in “horrible condition.”

Theresa Cooper said she has at least a dozen family members buried at New St. Marcus Cemetery and Mausoleum off Gravois Road in south county.

She said in the last few years conditions have deteriorated and she has brought her own weedwhacker to clean up her loved ones’ graves.

“We deserve a nice place for our relatives, and they deserve a peaceful place and it’s not peaceful, it’s sad,” Cooper said. 

“I would never in a million years bury any of my relatives here today. If I had the means, I would take dad out tomorrow and put him someplace else.”

Her dad, Terry Cooper, died 20 years ago and they buried him at New St. Marcus Cemetery and Mausoleum. Cooper said the cemetery’s conditions are “heartbreaking.”

“It was once a beautiful, peaceful place. We would come and have picnics here, and now we don’t even like to come,” she said. 

“It’s gotten to the point where it’s shameful for us to have to come and pay our respects for our loved ones and feel like, like I don’t know, we’re in ruins here.”

Cooper who shared pictures with Fox 2 Now said that tombstones are knocked over, and there is overgrown grass and weeds over some headstones.

Additionally, she said it is difficult to drive through the cemetery because of the potholes, flooded areas and low-hanging trees.

When Cooper went to visit her dad on Father’s Day, she said she found dirt from a newly-inserted grave on her father’s grave.

“I don’t think we should have to bring our own equipment to clean up our loved ones’ graves, and we do every time we come visit,” she said.

Cooper said that she wants the area to be taken care of and she believes she isn’t alone in the frustration.

“I want them to clean it up and I want it to be a beautiful place like it once was, our loved ones deserve that, we deserve that,” she said.

“There was plenty of recent Google reviews about how horrible this place is and how it used to be beautiful, so I’m not the only family member who is upset.”

Cooper added that she hasn’t been able to get ahold of anyone at the cemetery.

“They don’t answer the door, they don’t answer the phone,” she said.

Fox 2 Now tried to call the cemetery and rang the doorbell to the front office, but no one answered and calls went unreturned.

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