Family told they can't decorate son's grave

For nearly five years, Joseph and Marilyn Cincotta decorated their son's grave in the Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery. Now, they've been told to stop.
For nearly five years, Joseph and Marilyn Cincotta decorated their son's grave in the Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery. They added solar lights, flowers and some landscaping.

"This is his last memory for us. The last dealing we had with him," said Joseph Cincotta.

Nineteen-year-old Christopher Cincotta died in 2009, and the family has visited the grave almost every day. They say the cemetery owner gave them verbal permission to dress up their son's grave.

"We got compliments, people drive by because a lot of people come out here, and always stop and say that's nice" said Marilyn Cincotta.

However, recently the family was told the decorations had to go, and say the cemetery's new owner would not listen to their pleas.

"Her exact response to Marilyn was we can talk about it all you want, but it's not going to change anything, just remove them," said Joseph Cincotta.

This past Saturday, the family says cemetery workers removed everything but one floral display. They say the workers also removed decorations from other graves too.

Heather Bosher said the family owned cemetery has always had a policy which limits floral decorations to one per internment. But she says the former owner, her mother-in-law, didn't always enforce it. She says some of the decorations had gotten out of hand.

Johnny Vasquez's wife died in April. He visits her grave every day. Wednesday he placed seven arrangements around the grave, one from each family member. He says he does not like the policy, but understands it.

"My plan was I was going to pile all in one heap, and make it look like it was one decoration," said Vasquez. "That's my solution to one arrangement."

Joseph and Marilyn Cincotta said their only solution is being allowed to decorate their son's grave. Until then they say their son's grave, which was once a special spot of peace, is now barren of memories, and honor.

"I felt like I am losing my son all over again. Why disturb it? Why bother," said Joseph Cincotta.

"That's things we had put down for him. I just don't want anybody to mess with it," said Marilyn Cincotta said "It's like messing with him."

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