RALEIGH, N.C. — When the owner of a company did not make good on his promise to Five On Your Side to resolve the issue involving a grave marker, another businessman stepped in and made things right.
Five On Your Side first told the story of Sandy Willis in May. Her infant son died about two years ago, then her husband died of cancer in November. As if that was not enough, she had to deal with trying to get a gravestone she already paid for.
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Nine months later, the words, "David Lucian Willis, beloved husband and father" were what Willis has been waiting to see. She said the grave marker was important to her husband.
"After he got sick, he made me promise. He said, 'Please don't ... if something happens to me, please don't let me lay here and nobody know where I'm at,'" she said.
Willis said she could not keep that promise because of Carl Ternullo, who owns Monument Services. Willis paid him $1,000 for a marker last November. When she called to check its status in January, she got a recording saying the business moved.
Willis spent months trying to find Ternullo, so that she could honor her husband.
"To kneel down there and put my hand on his marker and realize I had done what I had done to fulfill my promise to him," she said.
When John Conway, owner of Greenville Marble & Granite, saw Willis' story, he wanted to do something to help relieve her pain.
"I saw the deep emotion and stress that she was going through," he said. "It touched me and it was just so unfair for the way that she had been treated and I don't like to see anybody treated that way."
Conway called Five On Your Side and worked with Willis to get the monument she wanted and install it. He did not charge her a dime.
"It's just so important when it's the last thing you can do for them," he said. "That's what we wanted to try to do to help you with it," Conway told Willis.
Five On Your Side has been unable to track down Ternullo, who still owes Willis $1,000. Anyone with information on where Ternullo may be, please let Five On Your Side know.
One final note: Ternullo owned Monument Services in Fayetteville and Sanford. Another business in Kenly has the same name, but is not related in any way to Ternullo.