Cemetery Controversy: Devoted Dad’s Fight for Son’s Memorial

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KENT, Ohio-- "Every day is a pain that will never stop. Every day goes by and I miss him more than yesterday," said Fred Molai of Kent.

Every day, Fred Molai visits his son's grave at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent.

"I've come 970 days in a row now. Every day. Adam's been gone 1,044 days now," said Molai.

Molai's son, Adam, a petty officer in the Navy, died while rafting in California in June, 2011.

"When we received the body, we decided to set everything up at his grave. I started with the flower bed, which is 4 x 16," said Molai.

From a flower bed to a memorial, Adam's gravesite grew.

memorial

"After Memorial Day weekend, I put these posts with his pictures up. Ever since then, I'm having some difficulty with the cemetery," said Molai.

Molai said back in September, the cemetery sent him a letter saying the pictures were in violation of cemetery rules.

"They are complaining that it is too high. They want me to lower it down to ground level and I refuse to do it because I didn't violate any rules," said Molai.

So Molai said he decided to sue the cemetery and got a restraining order in Portage County Common Pleas Court, blocking any removal of any part of Adam's grave, for now.

"I really don't believe I've done enough here yet. I don't have any limit to what I should do for him," added Molai.

FOX 8 reached out to Standing Rock for a comment who said they could not talk due to pending litigation.

However, they point out that rules and regulations are clearly listed at two points in the cemetery. "The cemetery shall have the authority to reject any memorial that, on account of its size, type, design, inscription, quality, color or method of construction is unsuitable for the particular lot or grave on which it is to be placed," said Jean Chrest, clerk with the Standing Rock Cemetery through an email.

Molai said his case now heads to the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, where they will decide what happens to Adam's gravesite.

Molai said he anticipates a hearing next month.