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Ind. Church Refuses Tombstone With NASCAR Logo; Widow Files Lawsuit

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By Dayna Lovelady, CP Contributor
March 11, 2013|5:17 pm

After spending nearly $10,000 on a couch shaped headstone, an Indiana widow is suing a Catholic church for not installing it. The completed headstone featured images of her deceased husband's favorite things including a colored NASCAR logo, which the church would not allow, according to reports.

Shannon Carr's husband passed away in 2009 and she decided to have him buried in the cemetery of St. Joseph's Church in North Vernon, Ind. She is now suing the Catholic church citing that they did not produce any rules or regulations stating limitations for the burial plot until 2010, more than one year after her attempt to install it.

The priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jonathan Meyer, says in an affidavit that "photographs of the monument were shown to the St. Joseph Parish Council six weeks before Carr purchased it and the council determined the monument wasn't acceptable because of its secular nature and informed Carr of the decision." He stated that she went forward with the purchase anyways.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis Properties, Inc. owns the cemetery that has been around since 1907. Carr stated in the lawsuit that they should have presented such documents saying that she could not have the tombstone of her choice before she paid for the tombstone to be made.

Carr paid Shaw Monuments in Vernon, Ind. $9,600 to create the granite headstone. Meyer notified Shaw Monuments that the couch shaped headstone did not meet the cemetery's standards and that it could not be placed in the church's century-old graveyard, according to comments made to The Republic. He also stated that the cemetery rules were formally given to Carr after she bought the headstone, but he said they were known before that, faulting a culture that "breaks all the rules to make people feel good."

Carr did not respond to a request for comments on the lawsuit.

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