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Family fighting church to change typo on headstone

Family Fighting Church To Change Typo On Loved One's Headstone

The family of a Rio Vista woman was horrified when they saw a glaring typo on their loved one's headstone.

Carol Prelesnik was a good wife, mother and grandmother. Her family says she was a good Catholic woman who lived an honest life. So when Prelesnik died from lung cancer, her family wanted nothing but the best for her burial at Saint Joseph's Cemetery.

"She was very caring. She was always there for me," daughter Ann Sanchez said.

When the family went to pay their respects three months after Prelesnik's burial and saw the headstone for the first time, they noticed the spelling mistake.

"It has her name, the day she was born, the day she died. Then it says 'resting pacefully.' It should say 'resting peacefully,'" Sanchez said.

In the five months since, Sanchez says she has tried to get the spelling mistake corrected but her family has run into a wall.

The cemetery is run by the Sacramento Diocese and all changes to plots must go through them, but several phone calls pleading for something says to be done have gone nowhere, according to Sanchez.

"Two times, she had told me it had already been done, that it had been corrected and both times I drove down to Rio Vista, saw that it hadn't been done and immediately called her. I have gotten a lot of excuses but no action and it just feels like it's not ever going to be fixed," Sanchez said.

The anniversary of Prelesnik's death is coming up on July 27, and Sanchez wants something done now.

"I feel like when I go to the cemetery and when my family goes to the cemetery, we are not going to pay our respects. We are going to check on a spelling error and it just doesn't seem like the right situation," she said.

A statement came out late Tuesday from the spokesperson from the Catholic Cemeteries of Sacramento:

"We owe the Prelesnik family an apology. We didn't do enough to follow-up on their concerns and relied on paperwork from the company in Southern California that was responsible for the repairs the family rightly asked for. The inscription company told us the work was done, but it wasn't done properly and we failed to double-check.

"We have been in touch with the inscription company and the work will be done on March 30."

"The bottom line is that this should not have happened and we take full responsibility. We sincerely apologize to the family and will be in touch with them to personally discuss the situation."

Join the discussion

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Rabbi Moishe March 27 2014 at 10:48 PM

Why is this news?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
jricha1813 March 27 2014 at 8:12 PM

When I married my 2nd husband in 1976 ~ he had been widowed for 11 years. He assured me that there was room for me in this plot, that included is first wife. This was fine by me, but his family objected strongly. I'm a fairly organized person especially losing my mother and husband within fifteen months of each other. I decided to make as many arrangements for me as I could. Well, my step-daughters who were in their 40's strongly objected. Although I was the widow the cemetary supervisor said I was out-numbered 2 - 1. I informed the supervisor that if the daughters didn't want my name on the mother and father's headstone, they would have to have my name removed AT THEIR EXPENSE. I called the people that I evenually bought a headstone from and got a stone to my liking. As fate would have it, there was a lot for sale next to my husband. They were in their 40's when their father died, and they were jealous of the fact that their father found happiness in his later years.
PS: My "children" from my first marriage were happy to have a step-father that loved them as much as they loved h

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lunarstruck March 28 2014 at 3:54 AM

I don't think it should say "A saintly man" either. I'd just redo the whole thing.

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rlmcanoe March 28 2014 at 5:37 AM

go down to the plot with a sledge hammer, when the stones get vandalized they get replaced. I mean if you have tried everything, what else is left. good luck

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jer49 March 28 2014 at 5:45 AM

Spelling errors can be fixed on a headstone. Mistakes are made and are very costly. It takes an experience engraver to correct a spelling error. J.J.C.Jr.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
drydockx jer49 March 28 2014 at 7:33 AM

Has to be a new headstone. No way it can be fixed.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Nancy jer49 March 28 2014 at 7:57 AM

Spelling error? The past tense of experience is experienced.

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Dave March 27 2014 at 7:44 PM

It's not the cemetery's fault but it certainly is the inscribers fault. Go after them...big time. As far as I'm concerned, this headstone must be replaced in it's entirety. There's no way to place an "e" in there and have it look good. The inscription company screwed up and it's their responsibility. I think it's also their responsibility to hire someone that knows how to spell.

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courtneykersey March 28 2014 at 7:10 AM

I'm so happy the church is correcting her tombstone. They offered a very nice apology.

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1 reply
mhdjl courtneykersey March 28 2014 at 10:15 AM

It took them long enough to get around to fixing it. A few years back, the cemetery chipped the double headstone on my parents' graves when they filled in my mother's grave. I noticed it the first time I went back a few months after her funeral (in my religion, you are not allowed to visit a new grave for the first month). I reported it to the cemetery office, which told me they would look into it as soon as the weather got warmer (my mother passed in December; I went in February). I checked again that April, and it still was not fixed. I went back to the office. It took a couple of reports to the office, but they eventually fixed it for me by that summer.

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aj718720 March 27 2014 at 9:45 PM

They should also fix the book. The bottom of that thing looks like a kissy fish mouth with a big ol mustache. At least split end pages in half like an actual book

Flag Reply +1 rate up
iarodd March 28 2014 at 8:35 AM

This happened to my family. I asked for the copy of the proof that was given too us before the stone was cut. Sure enough it was the people that cut the stones error. My brothers and I signed off on a proof of the lettering. If the proof had the error on it then it would have been our fault. We ended up getting a new stone.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jdonoh4 March 28 2014 at 8:41 AM

My brother's headstone says he passed away on the 14th. His military stone says it was the 12th. We all got over it after a month or so. Her situation with the typo is worse than ours.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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