Meeting set over Iraq veteran's SpongeBob gravestone


The 7-foot headstone, along with a near-exact duplicate erected for Walker’s living twin sister, have been removed and will not be allowed back up, cemetery President Gary Freytag said Monday.

“We’ve decided that they aren’t appropriate for our historic cemetery and they can’t be displayed here,” Freytag said, adding that the employee who approved the headstones made an inexplicable error in judgment, given the cemetery’s traditional, stately appearance.

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A 7-foot tall headstone?!? Wouldn’t that alone cause concern? Yes, their daughter was a vet and died in a horrible way - but does everyone else who has loved ones buried in that cementary have to deal with SpongeBob??


Yeah, I personally feel that those should never have been approved. I understand the desire to remember your loved ones in a positive way, but I also think there’s a question of appropriateness that should be considered…


Well said.


I think it was very arrogant of the family to expect the world to just accept twin 7-foot monuments to their daughters (only one of whom passed). Why not go with a tactful headstone with SpongeBob carved into a top corner (if anything)?

And, I really find it disrespectful to honor your dead daughter with a cartoon character, especially one so dumb (yes, he’s hilarious and she loved him…what if she loved Count Chocula, too?..) Really, your immortal legacy is as a big SpongeBob fan?

Where I’m from, there’s a headstone for a young woman who had a love for swimming/life-guarding and rollerblading. The headstone is of the orange buoy made famous on Baywatch (it’s not orange on the stone, though, rather, it’s light purple) on top of a rollerblade. It’s ugly, and maybe 3 feet tall, and it’s the only thing you notice at first because it is so out of place. The parents hadn’t touched her room for at least 10 years after the fact.

A terrible loss, that of a child. However, no one who doesn’t know the girl(s) will ever see anything other than a monstrous monument.


There is a somber, reverent attitude that is required of us when we are confronted with the awesome power of death. It was quite correct for the funeral directors to prohibit displays that in any way trivialize the awesome power of life and death.

Manners and taste are what allow life to be tolerable in the face of so much suffering.There is a time and a place for the irreverence of the cartoonish aspects of our lives. A graveyard is not the time and the place for that. It is simply inappropriate there.


I agree with you completely, but the cemetary agreed to the stupid thing already.

I just picture in 50 years people walking through the cemetary wondering what the stupid statue thing is. I doubt Sponge Bob will be around as long as Mickey Mouse or Popeye - not that either one of them belong in a cemetary standing 7’ tall either.


Please don’t give them any ideas!


There is something so incredibly sad about this situation, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Yes death is extremely sad and far be it for me or anyone else to trivialize it. But there is also something about her love of this cartoon character, and her sister’s insistence on having this crazy tombstone for no reason other than it is what “she would have wanted.” I have to have some respect for that. I find myself in the minority but I would be tempted to allow it, if only from this distance. :shrug:


I do understand that. But this is not a private memorial - what about the feelings of the families of the nearby graves? What if my sister is buried nearby and she thought SpongeBob was completely stupid? I could see a normal sized headstone, with an image of the cartoon. That could be ignored by others. A 7 foot tall headstone (of anything) cannot be ignored - even by morners several “rows” away!

I fault the cemetary for approving a headstone that large no matter what it was. I think that cartoons and popular culture images like that should have raised a red flag with the cemetary as well.

I also say that I have to wonder at the family for not being more circumspect to begin with - why even consider that headstone as appropriate. And does the living sister not think that her tastes or wishes would ever change? She’s young still!


But a 7 ft tall gravestone? Worse still, two of them? Surely the purpose can be served by something smaller and less obtrusive?


Mrs Sally, I hear your reasoning. I’m glad I don’t have to make the definitive decision. I disagree that the living sister would ever change her mind, since this image would probably clearly remind her always of her sister who was young enough when she died. Although the trauma felt by the family for this cemetery’s refusal to mark their daughter’s headstone “properly” will also not be lost.


Now you are being ridiculous. Now had she chosen Boo-Berry or the Fruity Yummy Mummy, I’d be more apt to sympathize.


I think it is ridiculous that such a headstone was allowed in the first place. Headstones like that do not belong in cemeteries. Why should someone have to look at that every time they go to pay their respects to their dead relatives or friends?


Or Count Chocula. :wink:

In all seriousness, I think the cemetery is trying to do the right thing by reimbursing the family for the cost of these stones. What bothers me is the family trying to use the deceased woman’s status as a veteran as justification for maintaining these monuments. Veterans status has nothing to do with it. It’s a historical cemetery, they made a mistake, and are now trying to correct it (at no additional cost to the family). I think the right thing to do is to accept it.


Agreed. I think the response fromt he cemetery was 100% perfect. “You can’t keep those here, we’re sorry that one of our employees told you otherwise, but it’s not within our policy and we’ll help pay for replacements.”

If SpongeBob taught us anything, it’s that when you thrust yourself into the spotlight, you usually end up getting burnt (see: The boy who ripped his pants.)


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