Burr Oak Cemetery: Historic resting place of prominent African-...

Sunken or tilting gravestones, unmanageable roads, rivers of rainwater, and an abundance of uncut weeds dot the Alsip cemetery where Emmett Till , blues legend Dinah Washington and heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles are buried along with many other famous figures. Full Story
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Butch

Lombard, IL

#1 May 28, 2009
It's a real shame that these large corporations are buying up funeral homes and cemeteries.They don't seem to give a damn about anything exept the almighty dollar.I only hope that Perpetua Inc. is made to fix these problems so that the people visiting can be assured that thier loved ones are resting in peace.

“Nothing beats good DNA”

Since: Nov 07

Mount Prospect, IL

#2 May 28, 2009
I was appalled to read "After recent heavy rains, the driveways turn into dark lagoons, forcing maintenance crews and visitors in cars to navigate alternative routes that can lead over gravestones." Who in their right mind could drive off of the roadway and over people's resting places? Thank you, Mr. Steve Campbell, for having the decency and respect to not do this. I felt better after reading about you. But am equally sorry that you cannot visit your father's grave because of the conditions at this cemetery. It's a real shame and no one ought to face something like this. I never heard of such a thing!!! It makes me so angry that people can be so nonchalant about something like this...
Anne from Oak Park

Oak Park, IL

#3 May 28, 2009
Lawmakers and village officials do nothing to regulate cemeteries. They're screaming about budget shortfalls - why not change laws to allow hefty fines for negligent maintenance, and do something for families and their budgets?!
My father was buried 20 years ago at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, near 115th/Western. In the past 8-10 years, it has gone from a lovely, historic cemetery to a shabby wasteland littered with garish plastic decorations and plywood coverings over holes and burial sites. We plan to move my father, and it's caused my mom real heartache.
I feel for Burr Oak families -- who wants to see the graves of beloved sons and parents like this, let alone consider the prospect of one day being buried alongside them at such a dump?
Jackie

Woodridge, IL

#8 May 29, 2009
If you think Burr Oak is bad, just remember the state that Bachelor's Grove is in.
Absyrd

Bensenville, IL

#9 May 29, 2009
It sounds like this would be the perfect undertaking for a teen group or church group. I would happily donate some $ to this cause.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#11 May 29, 2009
Absyrd wrote:
It sounds like this would be the perfect undertaking for a teen group or church group. I would happily donate some $ to this cause.
I would also help! This is so terribly sad.
hmmm

Aurora, IL

#12 May 29, 2009
Why don't the complainers organize some fundraisers/cleanup days. Why is it always someone else's responsibility???
Droncz92

Hartford, CT

#14 May 29, 2009
Thats pretty sad.
too old

New Haven, IN

#15 May 29, 2009
It seems that the families of the deceased should band together and fix the issue if it's that important to them.

Although, I also think cemetaries are creepy places to begin with, and cannot imagine why one would want their loved one buried underground. The physical decay process is so gross, why not just cremate? Then we won't have to worry about cemetaries being neglected like this.

*shrug* I'm sure this is an unpopular opinion. I mean no disrespect. I'm just trying to think of alternatives so that people in the future won't have to go through this.
Disco

United States

#16 May 29, 2009
i visited burr oak for the first time last summer. they had groundskeepers on duty and the office staff was plentiful and helpful. the public washrooms were clean. i guess i was lucky on the day that i went.
REALTALK

Pacoima, CA

#17 May 29, 2009
Black folks disrespected in life and death.
No Time For Liberals

Chicago, IL

#18 May 29, 2009
I grew up in Alsip and even as a child in the 70s was appalled by the lack of care/respect at this cemetery. It has been in decay as long as I can remember when I visit my folks, I pass this parcel coming off of 294 still sickens me. A mere $50 fine? Please, perhaps a daily penalty of $5,000 until the extensive issues are dealt with might get some movement from the owners.
RIP

United States

#19 May 29, 2009
I was at Burr Oak in 2007 and I saw firsthand the flooding over graves. I could not find my grandmothers grave. I went looking a few months later and I found her. Now that the weather is breaking it is time to pay another visit. Going to Burr Oak is a heartbreaking experience and part of the decision that led to me requesting cremation upon my passing. I am almost afraid I won't be able to find her again. I pray something is done, this is just disrespectful to the deceased.
mike

Des Moines, IA

#20 May 29, 2009
Butch wrote:
It's a real shame that these large corporations are buying up funeral homes and cemeteries.They don't seem to give a damn about anything exept the almighty dollar.
Anne from Oak Park wrote:
Lawmakers and village officials do nothing to regulate cemeteries.
Put 2 and 2 together. Big businesses are buying up cemeteries BECAUSE they aren't regulated well or at all. The government must do something.

This is why when I die I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered. I don't want my body to be at the mercy of a glorified landscaper.
mike

Des Moines, IA

#21 May 29, 2009
No Time For Liberals wrote:
I grew up in Alsip and even as a child in the 70s was appalled by the lack of care/respect at this cemetery. It has been in decay as long as I can remember when I visit my folks, I pass this parcel coming off of 294 still sickens me. A mere $50 fine? Please, perhaps a daily penalty of $5,000 until the extensive issues are dealt with might get some movement from the owners.
Your name says "no time for liberals", yet this is quite a liberal stance.
moreofthesame

Chicago, IL

#22 May 29, 2009
They should raise their fee's and then you'll really see the complaints come in. Why is this even worthy of an article?
chitown

River Forest, IL

#23 May 29, 2009
REALTALK wrote:
Black folks disrespected in life and death.
Amen to that. I was just at Graceland cemetery on the north side. Would that place ever not be taken meticulous care of? Probably not. Stories like this remind me of Hurricane Katrina all over again.
Anne L

Lincolnshire, IL

#24 May 29, 2009
If they are still buring people there then how about telling them they can not accept any more bodies until they clean up their act.
Where is all the money going that people are paying? Has anyone looked at their books?
Full disclosure

Chicago, IL

#25 May 29, 2009
Anne from Oak Park wrote:
Lawmakers and village officials do nothing to regulate cemeteries. They're screaming about budget shortfalls - why not change laws to allow hefty fines for negligent maintenance, and do something for families and their budgets?!
My father was buried 20 years ago at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, near 115th/Western. In the past 8-10 years, it has gone from a lovely, historic cemetery to a shabby wasteland littered with garish plastic decorations and plywood coverings over holes and burial sites. We plan to move my father, and it's caused my mom real heartache.
I feel for Burr Oak families -- who wants to see the graves of beloved sons and parents like this, let alone consider the prospect of one day being buried alongside them at such a dump?
OK Anne, who pays the fine? Most cemetaries operate on a trust fund. A fine would come from the fine making things worse.
American First

Ellicott City, MD

#26 May 29, 2009
As usual, the Tribune does the public a disservice because the Trib should have done its homework of various Cemetaries to compare and contrast, to see if this was a systemic problem or, just a problem at this particular place. Having not done so leads readers to ponder and surmise that the only reason is because of RACE.

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