Family claims they’ve been strung along by New Mexico cemetery for months | KOB 4

Family claims they’ve been strung along by New Mexico cemetery for months

Nathan O'Neal
March 20, 2019 10:28 PM

FARMINGTON, N.M.- A grieving New Mexico family claims they’ve been strung along for months after a mix-up at a cemetery involving their loved one’s headstone.


For Ed Swisher Sr. of Farmington, his 62-year marriage to his wife Joe Ann was a love that stood the test of time.

In the summer of 2018, Swisher Sr. lost the love of his life after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Joe Ann was laid to rest at Greenlawn Cemetery in Farmington in August. Months later, there’s still something missing at their family plot: her headstone.

“It’s like she passed away and who cares?” questioned Swisher Sr. “To me, it’s an insult to her to not have her name on her cemetery lot.”

When Swisher Sr. first ordered the headstone through the cemetery, the design was initially misspelled. He was told the correct version was ordered – but more than seven months later, the family is still waiting.

“The last time I was down there, he said it would probably be another two or three months… again,” said Swisher Sr.

His son Ed Jr. fashioned a makeshift plaque out of wood. For months, it’s been the only sign to show that Joe Ann was laid to rest in the grassy cemetery lawn.

“That’s one of the things he talks about every week, is the fact that we can’t get closure with the headstone,” said Swisher Jr.

4 Investigates took the Swisher family’s concerns directly to cemetery management.

Manager Tyrel Davis said a mistake was made during the ordering process.

“If they would like a refund, I’d gladly offer a refund… this is an isolated incident of a mistake that I made and I’m doing my best to get it fixed as soon as I can,” said Davis.

The Swisher family isn’t interested in a refund. They simply want the order completed properly.

Swisher Sr. said his late wife deserves better.

Approximately an hour after 4 Investigates visited the cemetery, the manager called to say he was able to get a hold of the vendor the cemetery works with – and is now having the headstone shipped overnight.


Nathan O'Neal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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