December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Couple finds cemetery’s Black Friday special ‘distasteful’

A sign outside Resthaven Memory Gardens in Avon advertises a cemetery special that coincides with Black Friday. The “O/C” mentioned on the sign refers to the opening and closing of the grave. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

A sign outside Resthaven Memory Gardens in Avon advertises a cemetery special that coincides with Black Friday. The “O/C” mentioned on the sign refers to the opening and closing of the grave. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

AVON — Death never takes a holiday, but William Verderber would prefer if the holiday advertising outside Resthaven Memory Gardens would.

Verderber said a “Black Friday Special” sign decorated with Christian crosses and advertising a sale for $1,999 outside the cemetery is inappropriate. Verderber, a 73-year-old city resident, said he has visited the cemetery since 2005, when his 39-year-old son, David Verderber, was buried there.

Verderber wrote in an email to The Chronicle-Telegram that he and his wife, Julie Verderber, visited the cemetery Wednesday and were “appalled” by the sign. Verderber said in an interview that Resthaven frequently does promotions at the cemetery, “but I found this one particularly distasteful.”

Verderber said he complained to Resthaven management and was given a phone number to a corporate office. He said he left a message with a corporate official whose voicemail said she was on vacation. A woman who answered the phone at Resthaven on Wednesday evening wouldn’t give her full name or comment on Verderber’s complaint.

Verderber, a retired tobacco company salesman, said he understands the need to advertise, but said there should be more sensitivity shown by Resthaven officials.

“You’re going to somebody’s grave and looking for a peaceful thing,” he said. “The whole thing just doesn’t sit right with me.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.