Grieving family gets closure with grave marker | News

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Grieving family gets closure with grave marker

UPDATE: Tuesday George Watts went to visit his wife grave and the grave marker he had been waiting on was installed. Prestwood Funeral home had completed what was promised. Watts said he was not notified or anything, but he pleased with the grave marker and now he can find closure in the death of his wife.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- George Watts and his wife Peggy were married 44 years. She died this summer after battling cancer.

"It is very difficult," said Watts.

He said it has been very tough trying to cope without her, so he visits her grave twice a day.

"My wife will be deceased four months tomorrow and I don't know what to do," he said.

Watts is concerned about his wife's missing grave marker. The funeral service was handled by Prestwood Funeral home. Watts said he was pleased with the funeral home until the grave marker became a problem.

"They told us -- my family, my two sons and his wife -- that he would have the stone within the cemetery in 60 days," said Watts.

Watts said when that did not happen he called the funeral director, who told him it would take another 30 days.

"He has not been good in communicating with me," said Watts.

The funeral director is Vance Prestwood.

"It is not fair to penalize me," said Prestwood.

Prestwood said on Monday he was in Elberton, Ga. picking up several headstones, including one for Watts.

He said he had to wait on a good size order before he could pick them up, in an effort to keep costs down.

"I did not agree to a certain time in writing," Prestwood said. "I told him I would like to have it installed in 60 days. My intention was not to hurt but to help."

He is right, as far as the contract is concerned. It shows that Watts paid $2,485 for the marker, but it does not specify a date for delivery or installation.

Prestwood said state law does not put a deadline to meet that obligation.

"I have picked up his headstone and it will be installed no later than Wednesday," said Prestwood.

He said he's been in business 15 years and this is just the second complaint he's gotten over that span.

Prestwood said as a result he will now have his clients sign an agreement acknowledging that the installation of a headstone can take up to 120 days.

"I have not done anything wrong," said Prestwood. "This is not fair to me."

Watts said his lesson learned is to always get it in writing. He said this is not about the money; instead, it is about closure.

"I just want the tombstone put on the grave," said Watts. "I don't care about he money."

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