Veteran at the center of cemetery mixup to be reburied today with military honors
The family of Jack Dudley want to ensure he is laid to rest with Nana, his wife of 55 years.
Friday, May 22nd 2015, 6:56 AM EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The body of a war veteran at the center of a cemetery mixup will be reburied today with full military honors.
Jack Dudley died 15 years ago, but a cemetery mix-up is forcing his family to move his final resting place. Dudley's wife of 55 years died in early May. That's when the family discovered there was a body in the plot next to him at Evergreen Cemetery. That plot was purchased years ago for his wife, Nana.
Son Bill Dudley says they found about the mix up when his mom died.
"A couple gentlemen came in and explained to us that there had been an issue with the plot that my mom was supposed to be buried in, and they said there was already someone buried there," Dudley said. "They said that it appeared to be a child who had passed away in the 1950s."
The cemetery recently exhumed Jack's body and will bury him next to his wife in a new location.
Bill Dudley says, "It's hard now even thinking about it. In fact one of my sisters stated when we have to do this again, she don't think she can watch."
He added that this would have been even more upsetting for his mother.
"When she took her last breath, you know, she died thinking she was going to be laid to rest next to my father," Dudley said.
Volunteers from the V.F.W. Post 1170 in Middletown will honor Jack Dudley with a 21-gun salute, taps, and the folding of the American flag for his service in both WWII and the Korean War. That's the same military honor given him 15 years ago.
Morton King, Honor Guard Commander says, "It's an honor that's due all veterans. We will be glad to come out and ensure that it is done again and done properly."
Evergreen Cemetery won't confirm a mistake, but in a statement to WDRB said: "We work very hard to ensure that mistakes are not made and that our families are satisfied with our services. When that rare circumstance occurs, our policy is to work with families to come to an accord."
Cemetery inspectors did inspect unmarked plots following the questions raised over the Dudley family's experience. Evergreen's owners also say inaccurate cemetery records may be to blame, but for the time being, it will not sell any more plots in an older section of the cemetery.
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