Unkempt Cemetery in Lackawanna County Causes Concern

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. --  The sound of lawnmowers and weed whackers could be heard throughout Abington Hills Cemetery in South Abington Township.

Only it wasn't the groundskeeper. Instead, it was families cutting tall grass around headstones.

Before families could spruce up the final spot for their loved ones they had to use lawn equipment to clear the area.

"It is just not maintained it is not very respectful whoever is taking care of the cemetery to have it in the condition that it is in," said Brian Pallman of Clarks Summit.

"I stop here about twice a week. My parents and my brothers, we have like 10 lots up in C, and they way this cemetery is being taken care of is horrendous," said Rita Stravinskas of Taylor.

Military grave markers and American flags could be lost in the tall grass.

Bags of trash could be seen around the cemetery as well as knocked over headstones.

"I was surprised when I pull in and I could tell it wasn't mowed or taken care of for Memorial Day. I was hoping that wouldn't be the conditions here but I guess I should've brought more tools with me today," said Kara Deutsch.

Brian Pallman has more than four generations of families buried at this cemetery in Lackawanna County.

"I don't know what to say. I mean the way they are mowing, a lot of it has not been mowed. I understand that it is wet but there are other cemeteries that haven't been maintained," said Pallman.

The owner of Abington Hills Cemetery blames the wet weather and says his crews are understaffed.


  • Tim Granahan

    The company that runs this cemetery, also runs Washburn St. Cemetery in Scranton. That one is notoriously unkempt, except for Hillary Clinton’s father, Hugh Rodham, whom a neighbor maintains. There are over 20 stones at last count that were knocked over, one of which is a friend of the families. We reached out to Abington Hills and were told that any stone that was knocked over is the responsibility of the family.

    The other area that is in horrid conditions is Forest Hills. The Forest is literally taking that cemetery back!

  • donald fox

    Its funny the weather wasnt wet enough to stop families from taking care of cemetary……and if they are understaffed I havent seen any job adds looking for help. Speak the truth owners of cemetary you love getting the money from families to bury loved ones but dont wanna be bothered once money is recieved! Maybe charge them with desicration of graves for not honoring their end of the deal!

  • albertcohol

    This is not the only cemetery in the area that has these issues, the cemetery owners should be charged with desecration of graves For not fulfilling their agreement of perpetual care.

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