Cemetery supt.: Headstone concerns unfounded

Headstones bunched together near a building at Greencastle Cemetery are not ones that haven’t been put up at appropriate grave sites.

Responding to complaints from people who visited the cemetery off Nicholas Road in Dayton, the volunteer superintendent said the headstones are ones that have been replaced due to misspellings or because they’ve been cracked.

Superintendent Darren Boykins also said the non-profit cemetery has only three volunteers and is staffed only from the morning until early afternoon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He said the volunteers have maps and can help people find graves.

“Those stones are there as a staging area,” said Friday. “We’ve had no complaints from families.”

Boykins was responding to at least two people who contacted WHIO-TV to complain about the upkeep of the cemetery and a headstone purchased in August that hadn’t been put placed until recently.

Boykins explained that a headstone takes 90 to 120 days to be completed and that staff must wait until the spring thaw to put in a base. He said they try to get all headstones in place before Memorial Day.

Boykins said those who have questions about the cemetery or who want to volunteer or make a donation can call (937) 401-0308.

“They don’t have to donate money,” he said. “We don’t need money, what they can donate is old lawn equipment. That is my biggest struggle. If they want to help out, any old lawn mowers, any old weed whackers. That’s where we need help at.”

The superintendent stressed that burial at Greencastle is the cheapest in the area at $1,000 and that he’s personally donated grave sites or headstones for people who couldn’t afford them. He said a donor has offered to put up a new sign with the cemetery number.

“It’s not going to look like a million-dollar cemetery,” Boykins said. “We’re there to serve a purpose for that community.”