Dilapidated cemetery angers Molokai family

Published: Jul. 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM HST
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Norine Flowers
Norine Flowers
Jerry Flowers
Jerry Flowers

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

PEARL CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) – The mausoleum at Sunset Memorial Park has been closed to visitors because chunks of its concrete roof are breaking off and falling to the floor below.

Molokai resident Norine Flowers recently took her grandchildren to the Pearl City cemetery to visit her mother's crypt. Maybel Mayness, Flowers' mother, was interred at Sunset Memorial Park 40 years ago.

When Flowers arrived she found the mausoleum had been closed, off limits to visitors because they could be hurt by falling concrete.

"You can see the rebar in the wiring. It doesn't look like where we put her," Flowers said. "They really messed it up who ever took care of it," she added.

The Flowers family said it was told they were told they could enter at their own risk.

"To me that's dangerous. Why should we be at risk to see a loved one," said Jerry Flowers, Norine's son.

They also told Hawaii News Now they were told they could exhume grandmother Mayness and purchase another crypt in another cemetery. Their frustration grew.

"When we left her there, there was an understanding that was given to the family that they were going to upkeep the crypt. She wouldn't have to be exhumed or moved, that her final resting place was going to be her final resting place," Norine Flowers said.

No one was at the office to answer our questions Friday. We left a message and late Friday got a voice mail from Lagofaatasi Dozinn who is listed with the state as the agent for the cemetery. He did not leave a call-back number, but said we could reach him Monday.

Cemeteries are regulated by the state. By law they must have a Perpetual Care Fund to pay for maintenance. Every time someone purchases a plot, a portion the money goes into the fund.

According to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Sunset Memorial Park had $156,314 in its fund on December 31, 2010.

The flowers family would like some of that money spent on a new roof so they can visit and take flowers to grandmother Mayness.

"Fix the building. That's all I want. It can be a better place for her too," Norine Flowers said.

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