UPDATE: 11/17/23 6:00 p.m.
HAYES TOWNSHIP—The couple from Remus who have been battling with Hayes Township over their burial plot in Pleasant Plains cemetery, that was resold to someone else, have reached an agreement.
The Luciers refused the cemetery’s offer at first but have reconsidered saying they want to spend the rest of the little time she has left with each other and not fighting in court.
The wife, LynnDay was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and realized that she could not be buried in the family burial plot while preparing her own funeral arrangements.
The couple paid for the plot back in 2010, so her and her husband could be buried next to each other and other family members.
However, according to the township, the records were lost, and the plot was sold to someone else, and they were not willing to move the woman currently buried there.
Instead, the cemetery offered to pay for two plots in an unplotted area near the family plot for her and her husband.
They also offered to refund the money for the previously purchased plot and cover all other burial expenses, including paying for the foundation of a monument, putting up to $1,500 for a monument and offering to pay for the engraving of that monument.
LynnDay Lucier “I feel so much better because now I know that I’ll be next to my mother, and nobody can be put there. I’ll be there. I’ll be safe until he goes. And then he can be buried with me. So, I feel like everything’s been taken care of. We’re going to go on with our life now that everything has been settled,” said LynnDay.
The Luciers said that after their story aired, people from Northern Michigan and across the U.S. have been reaching out to them.
In fact, the Luciers said one 9 & 10 viewer from the UP, even sent them a beautifully crafted urn, that he made himself, free of charge.
The couple said they have a lot to be thankful for.
UPDATE: 11/10/23 6:30 p.m.
HAYES TOWNSHIP — After an elderly Remus couple told 9&10 News that part of their already paid for family burial plot was sold to someone else, they now say that Hayes Township, which owns the cemetery, is trying to work out a solution with the Luciers. But the couple said their offer does not cut it.
The wife, LynnDay Lucier, is battling terminal cancer and has just months left to live. She wants to be buried next to her mother at Pleasant Plains Cemetery.
This situation is tough all around and there doesn’t seem to be any simple solutions.
The Luciers said the right thing to do is to fix their mistake and remove the stranger from their grave, but the township claims it’s not that easy, and it’s not their fault.
“This is supposedly our spot that we bought 10 years ago, and they resold it. We want her moved back out there. Double dipping is what’s happening here. We want her to move back out of this spot so that my wife can have it in a few months,” said Garnet.
The Luciers said they were promised the lady would be moved but when they found out LynnDay had pancreatic cancer a few months ago, they were told they weren’t moving her.
Hayes Township Clerk and Cemetery Coordinator Debra Hoyt said they acknowledge the mistake, and they didn’t mean to sell their plot to someone else.
“Township officials change quite often and throughout the change, maybe records are kept as well as they should be. So Hayes Township understands that an error was made. Back in 2010 is when the lots were sold and they were never recorded here in any of the township paperwork,” said Hoyt.
Hoyt said they have offered the couple an unplotted spot, near the family plot, free of charge, so the couple can be buried together near LynnDay’s mother, but the couple says they will only accept being buried in the plot they paid for back in 2010.
“I don’t want to be. I don’t want my wife to be where people are going to be walking over top of her. It’s not right. It would be easy for them to move this other person and give us back our plot,” said Hoyt.
Hoyt said it’s not that simple.
“That woman is placed there by her parents, which are located in that area. And there are empty plots next to them, but they are owned by someone else. I’ve already contacted them, and they are unwilling to sell those back to the township,” said Hoyt.
Not to mention the costs involved in digging her up and moving her monument and foundation.
But the Luciers said it’s not right and this has affected LynnDay’s fragile health.
They said she starts hospice care next Monday.
“I thought I had more time, but this is pulling me right down. So, we just have to be strong. And he’s made me a box at home. A small box that I could go into until he goes. And then maybe by then it’ll be taken care of Because I only have. Maybe five months left to go,” said LynnDay.
The Luciers said this has put a damper on enjoying the rest of their days together, which aren’t many.
“It’s gone from organ to organ. I just want to make it a happy place. We want to have laughter every day. And this does not help. I try to be really uplifting, especially for him, because I thought I was going to be able to take care of him because I’m two years younger than he is,” said LynnDay.
Hoyt said they have also offered to pay for both of their funeral expenses and refund the money from the plot they sold them and pay for the foundation or a monument, but the Luciers just want the plot they paid for.
Hayes Township gave the following statement:
- Hayes Township understands that an error was made. Most importantly, it is sorry for this error and how it has impacted the family.
- It is never the intention of the township to cause grief to families that are suffering.
- The error occurred in 2010 when the sale of the two plots was not recorded anywhere in the township, therefore the township had no record of the sale. We would have never purposely double sold any cemetery plot or buried someone in a plot we knew to be sold.
- No people in the building at this time were here in 2010; however, we take ownership of the error.
- The Township is committed to solving this issue first, however, will also/has taken measure to try to avoid these sorts of issues in the future.
- The Lucier family asked Lynnday’s sister to represent the family at the township meeting yesterday to work toward a solution.
- Hayes Township is willing to work with the family for a solution.
- The township has offered to plot an area next to Lynnday’s mother for her, with another plot directly adjoining Lynnday’s for her husband. These plots would be given to the family for free and are closer than the plot at issue to their other family members in the cemetery (they are actually between that plot and the family members.)
- The township has offered to waive all fees for the burial of both Lynnday and her husband.
- The township has offered to buy back the two plots in question to the person whose name is on the copy of the deed - a copy has been provided by the deed owner to the township and this is the only record the township has.
- The township has offered to waive the fee for a monument foundation.
- The township would also consider other reasonable requests such as purchasing a monument and/or urn.
11/8/23 6:45 p.m.
HAYES TOWNSHIP — An elderly Remus couple is speaking out after they say their cemetery plot they planned to be buried in together at Pleasant Plains Cemetery in Hayes Township was sold to someone else.
The couple said the wife has terminal cancer and doesn’t have long to live, but the cemetery has sold the plot to a third party and has someone in it right now.
LynnDay Lucier said she wasn’t aware the clock was ticking.
“I didn’t know that I didn’t have long to live,” said LynnDay.
LynnDay said she was shocked when she found out the plot she already paid for had someone in it.
“I have no place to go when I leave here unless they keep me in a box at home because I have no place and we were going to be buried together,” said LynnDay.
She said her and her husband, Garnet, planned to be buried in her family’s burial plot buried together, next to her mother and her sister.
“They said I can’t have that spot because they sold it again. That’s what this woman said that’s been sold. I can’t have it. She already moved her once. And she says, I could be buried in with my mother, but he can’t,” said LynnDay.
LynnDay said the woman buried in her plot was already moved from another plot she didn’t belong in and that’s why they don’t want to move her again but she said she and Garnet have been together for more than 61 years and had planned to spend an eternity together.
Alternatives just don’t cut it.
“She says you could be put in my sister’s lot. Well, then she’d have no place to go. That lot was paid for by us. We have the papers to prove it,” she said.
LynnDay said this has been going on for months with no resolve and now with time running out she needs this resolved quickly.
“I have pancreatic cancer that was not diagnosed. And now it has gone to my liver, my lymph nodes, and I think to my bowels. Now there is no cure,” said LynnDay.
She said she has no idea how much time she has left but most people with her condition don’t make it past nine months and she’s two months in already.
“If I could just make it to Christmas, that isn’t too far. But I seem to be going downhill so fast, and we needed that plot. I needed that for my security. So I know that I was near my parents,” said LynnDay.
Garnet said the whole ordeal has been frustrating having a stranger in the family plot.
“It’s hard enough knowing that she’s terminal, much less losing her for some stupid reason as a cemetery plot. You know, I sure wish they would do something,” said Garnet.
He said they can’t afford to buy a new plot and they aren’t budging on moving the lady. Garnet said that even if there isn’t a solution, they were a package deal no matter what. He’ll keep her urn here with him if he has to.
“Somehow or another, we’re going to be together for eternity. That’s where it’s planned. I’ve called just about everybody I can possibly think of,” said Garnet.
Garnet said it has been stressful to have to deal with this on top of everything else the couple is facing.
Hayes Township owns Pleasant Plains Cemetery. The attorney for the township, Kyle O’Meara, said they are aware of the situation and plan to meet Thursday to talk more about a solution that is suitable for all.
The Luciers said they were surprised to hear about a meeting. They say the township spoke with them Wednesday night, never mentioned the meeting, and said there was nothing they could do for them.