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A Grave Problem

Adam Bernstein

Lexy Chubrich of Tempe, Ariz., is an obit fan and recently wrote to us posing a question about the funeral of her grandmother, Sophie Kolember Chubrich, who died May 30 at 91.

Lexy Chubrich writes:

I've just returned from attending my grandmother's funeral in Chicago and just wanted to share a strange detail. While we were at the cemetery my cousin mumbled something about a Y2K problem; sure enough, my grandmother's headstone was designed with her 20th century death in mind.

My grandfather died in 1966 and he's always had a gravestone with both of their names, Grandma's side saying "Sofia Chubrich 1917 - 19 " Presumably, she's the one who picked this out. I'm itching to investigate this, but I'm not the keeper of Grandma's paperwork. She was a notorious pessimist, so I shouldn't be too surprised, but I can't help but wonder if this is a common problem. After two days of church services, a wake, and lots of tears, it was a nice end to the ritual.

By Adam Bernstein |  June 11, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  | Category:  Adam Bernstein , Burial
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This is very common. The cemetery should be able to fix it easily.

How much it would cost depends on who asked for the "19" to be there. More often than not the purchaser didn't actually request it - most stonemasons put it in without asking, either because they forgot about the upcoming change of century or because they assumed the grieving widow wouldn't live that long. If that's the case the cemetery (if they provided the stone) might do it for free.

Posted by: Blurgle | June 11, 2009 2:42 PM

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