August 22, 2014

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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.

  • Razorback Twou

    Well, him selling additive tobacco is “distasteful” to me. How many people did his job put there? Appalled indeed!

    • Karri King

      He’s 73 years old. It was the norm back then.

      • Zen Grouch

        Yeah, back in the good old days, when the tobacco companies denied their product killed or injured anyone.

  • Phil Blank

    Some people just want to make the headlines and will find anything to make a statement!
    However the man is correct, but he could have taken the sign down himself or paid someone to remove it.

    • Pat L

      Taking down the sign is not legal as he does not own the sign or the property on which it is located.

      • Harley1949Vet

        TY , For a common sense & correct answer to Phil’s comment . I wasn’t going to be as nice as you were .

  • Zen Grouch

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

    If there were awards given out for hypocrisy, this guy would have a mantel full of ‘em.

    • Harley1949Vet

      Zen , when was the last time you seen a Tobacco Company advertising at the main entrance of a cemetery ?

      • Zen Grouch

        Come on now…

        Tell me you never saw those, “If you smoked tobacco, you could be home now!” signs they put on the empty cemetery plots…

  • Heath J

    If you disagree with the advertising, don’t patronize them. Simple, really.

    • atdietz80

      His son is already entombed there. It might be a little tough to not “patronize”. It would actually be quite difficult to do business elsewhere at this point. I find the advertising a bit salacious and it would turn me off if I were looking for a burial plot.

      • Heath J

        Tough cookies.

        Like any other emotionally based argument, I can’t agree. It sucks that Resthaven has chosen to go with something that tacky, but having a loved one planted there doesn’t make their complaint special.

        I own a GM vehicle, but you don’t see me dumping the thing simply because the .gov bailed out their Union employees. That said, I won’t be buying another..

        Like I said, if you find it offensive, don’t arrange to be buried there yourself.

        • atdietz80

          Your bulb seems a little dim, Heath. This has nothing to do with repeat business. A burial plot is a one time purchase that lasts forever. If the guy is turned off by the marketing practices of Resthaven, he still has to go and visit his son’s grave there. He’s not going to move his son to Holy Trinity. It is not like a car. I am continually amazed at how you miss the point.

  • Conservator440

    Talk about your bad taste.

  • MZee

    I find it distasteful. But hey, it;’s one opinion. I pray they don’t run with Jesus Birthday (or Easter) and, well, I won’t even humor them with a slogan idea for those times.

    All that said, death is inevitable, so advertising is a waste there. However they want business from the other cemeteries… this one might cost them a few.

    I remember the joke as a kid… “why do cemeteries have fences around them?
    People are dying to get in”. Accurate? yes. Funny? No.

  • Lisa

    Just go visit your loved ones and ignore everything else. We feel like we can tell people how to run their lives when it’s none of our business…. If you don’t like the sale sign, then write a letter to the people in charge of the cemetery. Why do people have to contact the media for everything????? (oh, I forgot, to get their 5 minutes of fame)

    • Bob Sweatt

      My father is buried there. Do yoy hear me complaining.

    • stargazer2012

      and why does the ‘media’ respond to such trivial issues ?!?

  • johns62

    I wonder if this gentleman was appealed with a picture of resthaven was on Jay Leno awhile back….with the three newspaper boxes in the front.

    Do people get upset when churches ‘advertise’? especially at Christmas and Easter

  • Pebody

    so when i sit down to watch tv with a plate of stuffed shells or spaghetti and meat balls and a tampon commercial comes on do i call the manufacturer or the tv station ?

    • Bob Sweatt

      Dude. LOL

  • Shellie Ferancy Kearsey

    There are ways to advertise these services without having a large sign like this out front. I also find it distasteful and I personally would never use this place for that reason alone.
    It doesn’t matter what Mr. Verderber did in his professional life. He has the right to expect that the place he buried his loved in would act in a respectful manner.

  • Mike Rush

    Why is this a news story ??

  • Mike Suhar

    I have relatives buried there. I don’t see a thing wrong with the sign being there.

  • WTFnext

    They are a business and have the right to advertise. The Chronicle must have had a slow news day. I don’t see the need to write a big story over one disgruntled patron to the cemetery. Thanksgiving is a popular day to visit deceased loved ones. They chose a busy day to advertise their services. It is something we all need to purchase sooner or later.