Little Progress Made Over Grave Dispute

The former First Farmers Bank and Trust building on Lane Street in North Judson will soon be the town hall.

A Starke County family that purchased their grave sites 20 years ago at Highland Cemetery says they will continue to pursue what they believe is the only answer.

Marilyn Derrickson says that as her husband was measuring for headstone foundations earlier this year, they discovered there wasn’t enough room at the site. The family owns several plots, but is missing a space due to the fact that someone else is buried in one of them.

Derrickson says she spoke with the Town of North Judson – which gave them several options to remedy the situation. She says none of them will work, though.

“It’s at the corner of the road,” says Derrickson. “The cars go through there, and my mother’s headstone was already hit once and we’re not going to put another headstone next to hers because of the traffic that goes through there.”

Documentation from the Town was requested by WKVI, but not returned at the time this story was published as the Clerk’s office considers it a public records request. Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry said the Town has no comment at this time.

Members of the family say they are contacting an attorney after receiving advice to help them pursue what they believe is the only solution: moving the individual currently buried in what they consider their family grave plot. They have not contacted the family of the individual currently buried at the site.

Derrickson says the process has been frustrating.

“Well none of my family like it. My children are all upset about it: that we should have to go through this,” says Derrickson.

Despite the frustrations that have come with the experience, the Derrickson’s say they are prepared to move forward legally if it should come to that.

An investigation is being conducted by the Indiana Attorney General’s office, which the Derrickson’s say they have heard little information on.