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Eden MemorialsBy MYRON LOVE
The closure of Eden Memorials at the end of January has left more than two dozen families in the lurch. These families are going to have to pay a second time for inscriptions on their stones as well as for bases and installations for which they had already pre-paid Eden Memorials.


The experience of one couple (who wish to remain nameless but will be referred to by the pseudonym Cohen) puts Eden Memorials’ owners in quite a negative light. “We were lied to and ignored,” says Mrs Cohen.
On January 1, 2011, according to Mrs. Cohen, the couple signed a contract with long time Eden Memorials owner Lorne Raber that was to cover their headstone, storage, inscription and installation (when the time comes), services for which they pre-paid. Raber sold his business in 2012 to a couple by the name of Charlene Santa and Monte Bryga.
“Late last year, we went to Eden to check on our stone and found out that the company was closing. We wanted to know what was going to be happening with our stone. No one called us back.”
On February 8, the Cohens sent Charlene Santa an email in which they wrote:
“We have tried on numerous occasions to obtain information regarding Eden Memorials.
“You advised that you were arranging to send our headstone to another memorial company for storage and assured us that you would guarantee all costs of transfer, inscriptions and storage of our headstone (all prepaid by us).
“You assured us that all was being taken care of, that a letter was forthcoming, and that there would be no further costs incurred. After not receiving any correspondence I again called and was assured by you that a letter was being prepared. No letter was provided. Weeks later, we discovered that Eden Memorials had actually closed its doors without our being informed or any information given as to which memorial company was taking over the care of our headstone.”
Santa responded promptly with an email in which she apologized for not having been in contact with the Cohens. She reported that she had drafted a letter and was awaiting approval of it from the other memorial company before sending it out. She promised to email the letter “as soon as I can”.
On April 6, the Cohens again emailed Charlene Santa to say that “It’s been two months since we last heard from you at which time you had promised to get back to us in the following two weeks. I’m sure you can understand our frustration since it’s been months since our first enquiry about the whereabouts of our headstone. The situation has reached a point where we have to get immediate confirmation from you and a guarantee that all arrangements will be followed as per our original purchase.”
Santa responded by apologizing for the delay and letting the Cohens know that their stone had been picked up by Westwood Memorials for safe keeping. Westwood Memorials’ Curtis Link reports that he agreed to temporarily store Eden Memorials pre-need monuments (saving the memorials from being lost in the closure). “After learning that Eden Memorials was closing, several monument dealers attended Eden Memorials to view the inventory,” Link says. “Eden Memorials asked a few memorial owners if they would consider storing the pre-need memorials for their customers. Westwood Memorials agreed to assist Eden Memorial’s customers and store the memorials until the memorial owners could be notified and make alternative arrangements.
Link says that he advised the concerned families (There are about two dozen families affected with about half being Jewish.) that Westwood would store the memorials without charge up until August 31, 2016. “Customers have the option of making arrangements to pick up their memorial from Westwood Memorials or obtain a quote for any outstanding work needed (for inscriptions, bases, installations, permits, etc),” he says. “If the customers would like Westwood to complete future work needed, a new contract would be made with Westwood Memorials.
“Any contracts with Eden Memorials cannot be honored by Westwood Memorials as the companies are not affiliated.”
Westwood Memorials has been in business for over 50 years. Curtis Link took over the business in 2002 after his father passed away.
Link says that he would be happy to assist all of Eden’s customers in determining the right decision for them and encourages them to contact him directly to discuss the matter.
Bankruptcy specialist Joel Lazer (Lazer Grant) notes that the families who prepaid Eden for the stones, inscriptions and installations could consult a lawyer but doubts that it will help.

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