News| Rosa Parks | Cemetery Prices Jump After Rosa Parks' Burial

News| Rosa Parks | Cemetery Prices Jump After Rosa Parks' Burial

Published February 11, 2008

Posted March 6, 2006 – If you want to spend eternity in Detroit's Woodlawn cemetery, it could cost you as much as $65,000 since Rosa Parks was entombed there last fall.

Spots inside the cemetery's mausoleum were once priced at $17,000 when it was known as the Celebration of Life.  It was renamed for Parks after her death in October, and the prices skyrocketed, The Associated Press reported.

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Individual burial places inside the chapel now cost $24,275, compared with $17,000, and that price does not include inscriptions or the $500 casket wrap, which is mandatory, according to a cemetery price list.

Now if you want to get even closer to her resting place, you'll pay between $60,000 to $65,000.

Family Angered

Several potential buyers, who cemetery officials would not identify, are negotiating for those spaces, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Parks' relatives are hot about the price hike saying it could cheapen her legacy as the woman known as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

"Her burial was supposed to be private matter, not a spectacle," Parks' closest living relative, nephew William McCauley, said.

But cemetery officials say the new prices are because of upgrades, like electrical work, a new security alarm and other interior upgrades, not because they're trying to profit from Parks' death, the newspaper reported.

"I know some people might want to be buried near her, but we're just private people, and so was she," said McCauley. "When will people stop taking advantage of her legacy?"

Estate Battle

This is not the first time controversy has encircled Parks’ death.

In November, a feud between Parks' family and the people who cared for her erupted into a heated court battle over her estate.

Parks’ nephew filed a petition contesting a will for her drawn up two years ago, asking to be named as person representative of Parks' estate, saying she died without a valid will.
Retired Judge Adam Shakoor and Parks' longtime friend and caregiver, Elaine Steele, filed a counter-claim asking to be named co-personal representatives and that the court recognize a will giving them control of Parks' estate.

Do you think the cemetery is exploiting Parks?  Click “Discuss Now” to post your comment.


Written by BET-Staff


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