LETTER: What's going on in Huron?
To the Editor:
The daughters of former Dakota Wesleyan University professor Ralph Roth are reaching out to others who have encountered difficulties with Restlawn Memory Gardens south of Huron. Roth and his wife, Elaine, purchased plots, vaults and markers from Restlawn decades ago so that their final arrangements would be in order. Roth died in 2014, and his wife, Elaine, passed away in January of this year.
When their daughters, Vicki Roth of Rochester, New York, and Valerie Roth Roubos of Spokane, Washington, had difficulty reaching Restlawn to make arrangements for the interment of their parents' cremains, they quickly learned that the owner of Restlawn has not honored the pre-paid arrangements for dozens of other families. Over 30 complaints have been made to the attorney general of South Dakota about Restlawn's failure to deliver markers that have already been purchased. Upkeep for the cemetery has faltered badly as well.
Roth and his wife were both born and raised in South Dakota. Roth, a World War II veteran and member of Kiwanis, was on the faculty at Huron College for many years prior to his tenure at DWU.
Daughters Vicki and Valerie state that it is not a matter of cutting their monetary losses and purchasing plots at another cemetery. Family members, including their grandparents and an aunt and uncle, are buried at Restlawn, and it was their parents' wish to be interred there as well.
In response to these issues, the daughters have formed the Restlawn Alliance of South Dakota. Others who have concerns about Restlawn Memory Gardens can send a message to this group at firstname.lastname@example.org.