Local News

Raleigh Family Upset Over Plans To Pave Over Gravesite

Posted December 20, 2002

— A Raleigh family is angry about plans to pave over their mother's final resting place.

Hunter Marshall and his family bought 16 plots at Raleigh Memorial Gardens just before their mother died from Lou Gehrig's disease. Shirley Marshall's five children and 10 grandchildren created a memorial park at the cemetery in her name.

"We dedicated this park to my mother in September. We distributed her ashes throughout the park, planted flowers and planted trees," Marshall said.

The cemetery sits near the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Lynn Road. The Marshalls paid more than $20,000 for their peaceful, secluded land. Two weeks ago, they learned by chance about plans to build a four-lane highway through the area.

"We were just completely shocked that no one notified us prior to that day, and here we're hearing from a homeowner, the third party, not from the DOT. It was very frustrating," Marshall said.

Transportation officials said they did notify nearby homeowners about plans for the Lynn Road extension, but the project is far from a done deal. Three routes are being considered.

A spokesman for the cemetery said they did not want to upset families while city leaders are discussing so many options. They say they did not know about the road project when the Marshalls bought their plots in March.

Cemetery officials have offered to relocate the Marshalls' plot, along with the landscaping and topsoil - an option that does not bring the family any peace.

"We can't relocate the ashes or relocate the attachment my family has to this property, this soil," Marshall said.

Some City Council members question whether the Lynn Road extension is even necessary. The council will take up the issue in January.

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