5 On Your Side

Five On Your Side Gets Involved In Woman's Fight For Grave Marker

Posted May 13, 2005 7:08 a.m. EDT

— A local woman has had to deal with more than anyone should have to. When she felt she had nowhere else to turn, she called Five On Your Side.

The last two years have been hard for Sandy Willis. Her infant son died during childbirth almost two years ago. Plus, her husband died of cancer last November at the age of 39. Now, adding to her heartbreak is that her husband's grave doesn't have a permanent marker.

"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,'" Willis said.

Willis ordered the marker in November from Monument Services in Fayetteville. She used the company for her son's gravestone and everything went fine. Willis paid owner Carl Ternullo a $1,000 down payment. She expected to have it by the first of the year, but that did not happen.

"I called and I couldn't get answers anywhere, and I was frantic," Willis said.

Willis only got a recording saying the business moved. She repeatedly tried the new number and every other number she had, but she could not get an answer.

Finally, she got voice-mail and left a message threatening to contact Five On Your Side. Ternullo called her back.

"I had one brief contact [with Ternullo], 'Well, I'll get back with you the middle of next week,'" she said.

However, there was still no call. After Willis continued to try to reach Ternullo without success, she called Five On Your Side.

"I just feel very betrayed, very hurt and I feel like someone has basically lied to me and I don't like being lied to," she said.

Five On Your Side was able to reach Ternullo. He blamed the delays on personal problems, but promised to get Willis her stone or her money. Willis said what she wants is simple.

"To be able to kneel down there and put my hand on his marker and realize I had done what I could do to fulfill my promise to him," she said.

While Ternullo promises to refund Willis' money, he told Five On Your Side, "It may take a little bit to do that." Five On Your Side has received five complaints against Monument Services.