Ohio family fights cemetery over Spongebob monuments
A soldier's family is battling a cemetery for the right to erect two unusual monuments in her honor.
Kimberly Walker loved the cartoon character Spongebob. So when the Army soldier died, police say at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, her family erected monuments of the animated character.
Her family says it is the perfect tribute, but the cemetery disagrees.
"We went through the channels to get these plots and also to get these monuments and then you just turn around and walk away like we're nothing," said Deborah Walker, Kimberly's mother.
Walker says what has taken place in her battle with Spring Grove Cemetery is bad business and disrespectful to her family and to her deceased daughter Army Sgt. Kimberly Walker.
"They had no compassion for what we were going through," said Deborah Walker.
In March, Walker purchased six plots and two unique monuments of Spongebob. Everyone says Kimberly adored the cartoon character. Each weighs 7,000 pounds, stands 6' 8" and four feet wide. Both have military uniforms on.
The Vermont granite monuments cost more than $13,000. The cemetery gave the go ahead for the design done by artist Tara Chambers.
"In the meetings that we attended it seemed like we had the acceptance of the staff and personnel there so it seemed like it was going to be a great project," she said.
But about a week and a half ago, the family was told Spongebob had to go because the monument does not fit with the historic cemetery's guidelines. The Spongebob monuments were removed one day after they were put in place.
"I've received calls from a lot of friends because me and my sister both were in the military so a lot of military friends seen it knew about the whole SpongeBob I talked so much about it and was so excited," said Kara Walker, Kimberly's sister.
Spring Grove Cemetery acknowledges an employee initially approved the monument design, but the president modified his initial comments this week, saying the design "was not approved by senior management and cannot remain here."
"This is what Kimberly wanted this is what we wanted," said Deborah Walker.