Cemetery Removes Cross at Burial Site, Say Didn't Meet Standards

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MCALLEN – William Gibb is warning Valley residents to take precaution when leaving monuments at their loved ones' burial site. His son, Ryan Gibb, passed away in 2009 from osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. 

"He died of a very aggressive cancer," Gibb said. "It was the one percent of the one percent."

Gibb told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he couldn't afford a marble or granite headstone for his son. He chose to honor instead with a wooden cross. 

"I mean I take care of this, this is made out of Texas mesquite," said Gibb.  

Gibb said he was surprised by what he discovered when he returned to Ryan's burial site in McAllen recently. 

“And I went by yesterday, the thing's ripped out of the ground," said Gibb. "And I'm like, you're kidding me right?"

Gibb told CHANNEL 5 NEWS management at the cemetery removed the monument because it didn't meet their standards.

We spoke to management ourselves. They said the cemetery has specific criteria set forth for monuments. According to their rules, they must be granite, marble or bronze, and no man-made structures are allowed. 

Valley funeral home director Johnny Garcia said grieving families must pay close attention to the criteria of each cemetery when finding a final resting place for their loved one.

"Number one it's important to find out what the requirements of that particular cemetery are, to see what the regulations are and what their policies are as far as what they allow as far monument material types and of course also the size," said Garcia.

"He was a good boy," said Gibb. "All I want him is honored."

Gibb said he'll go along with the decision of the cemetery. Management at the cemetery told CHANNEL 5 NEWS just before airtime they plan on donating a granite headstone to Ryan's burial site.

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