Who is stealing flowers from Corvallis gravesites?

2013-06-10T10:00:00Z 2013-06-10T12:28:17Z Who is stealing flowers from Corvallis gravesites? missoulian.com

CORVALLIS – Tim Hollar lost his wife Kim in March after a heart-wrenching bout with cancer.

Two Friday mornings ago, Hollar lavished her grave at the Corvallis Cemetery with $350 worth of flowers and plants in preparation for her memorial service.

When he returned that afternoon for the service, they were gone.

So, he noticed, were flowers at a nearby gravesite that were probably left over from Memorial Day four days earlier.

“And a friend of mine had some flowers on her husband’s grave the same day, and they were gone too,” Hollar said. “The more I thought about it, the madder it made me.”

He’s learned since, after talking with the cemetery sexton and president of the cemetery board, that the thefts are not isolated incidents at the pretty little cemetery a mile and a half southwest of Corvallis.

“I had no idea what was going on up there until after the fact,” Hollar said.

Like most, the Corvallis Cemetery disposes of flower bouquets after Memorial Day weekend that are in the way of groundskeepers. But not the kind of potted plants and hanging baskets of flowers that Hollar purchased at a local greenhouse, and certainly not before the service they are meant to enrich has taken place.

Hollar thinks the culprits live nearby where they can keep watch on the cemetery.

He called the Missoulian hoping that by getting word out those responsible might be identified. He also thinks that others who have loved ones buried in the cemetery should have a heads-up.

“If I had had any inclination, I wouldn’t have put (the flowers) out as soon as I did, or if I had there would have been someone staying with them,” Hollar said.

He’s not upset with the cemetery. Both sexton Steve Boshae and cemetery board president Don Thorson are on his side. “In fact, they told me if I found out who it was, they’d back me up 100 percent to prosecute.”

One solution to the vandalism would be to mount security cameras on a shed in the cemetery. Two could cover the whole place, Hollar figures.

Trouble is, that’s two cameras more than the cemetery board can afford. So the other reason to publicize his plight, Hollar said, is to “put the bite on some of the other people that this has happened to. Maybe we can get donations to get that done.”

Kim Hollar passed away on March 2. Her cremains were interred in early May, but the memorial service was postponed until May 31 to give her family from out of state time to make plans to attend.

They did, and many brought flowers, Hollar said.

“So it wasn’t bare. In fact, it was real pretty. But it would have been a lot prettier if mine were there too,” he said.

They were in “big gigantic baskets” with flowers “flowing over the side,” he said.

It would have taken a pickup or maybe a minivan to fit them all inside. There was a short window of time to steal them – he put the flowers out at 10 a.m. and was back between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m. for the 2 p.m. service.

“I think it’s somebody around there, and I would suspect that within an hour after I left they were probably gone,” he said.

“This is kind of taking its toll on me,” Hollar added. “Really, it takes a special kind of low-life to take flowers off somebody’s grave.”

Reporter Kim Briggeman can be reached at (406) 523-5266 or by email at kbriggeman@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. MedTranny
    Report Abuse
    MedTranny - June 10, 2013 8:44 am
    More and more these days, I am convinced we should return to an "eye for an eye" approach to mete out a commensurate punishment for such despicable behavior. Hopefully, these losers will be caught and the judge will show the good sense to send a clear message this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. I'm thinking along the lines of full restitution to every person who has reported missing flowers, an individual face-to-face apology to each of the grieving family, friends, etc. (none of this BS send a letter or get everyone in a room deal so the perpetrator doesn't have to look anyone in the eye), and then 100 hours of community service digging graves. Jerks....
  2. Corvallisjohn
    Report Abuse
    Corvallisjohn - June 10, 2013 7:34 am
    I would think a lot of folks would contribute to a video camera fund. Lets catch those rats.
  3. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - June 10, 2013 7:31 am
    Same thing happened to me at my wife's grave at Missoula City Cemetery. Really discouraging to realize you have to wonder if the flowers you bring for someone you loved and lost will be there the next day. At Missoula City they pick up flowers in the way of groundskeepers but often I will place them and then take them until ground crew members finish their work and then place them again as I go out there often. Mine ususally disappear over the weekend when there are no ground keeping activity. Whoever does this kind of thing is unfeeling and just plain creepy and I for one would be happy to contribute to a camera for Corvallis as well as Missoula.
  4. Deadwolf
    Report Abuse
    Deadwolf - June 10, 2013 7:16 am
    It takes a pretty sick person to do something like this. Trail Cameras are not too expensive but those would get stolen too.. Eventually the perpetrator will get caught. Then, his/hers mug needs to be front page news. Low life.
  5. walter12
    Report Abuse
    walter12 - June 10, 2013 7:04 am
    As good as Montana is in so many ways, we do have our share of the mentally ill, and of trash, and of scum.
  6. startingover
    Report Abuse
    startingover - June 09, 2013 10:54 pm
    Wow, how low can people get? Amazing.
  7. Mr C
    Report Abuse
    Mr C - June 09, 2013 10:43 pm
    Bad Karma for someone....
    Hopefully they will repent for the evil they have done. If not...well....what goes around, comes around.
  8. onetwopunch
    Report Abuse
    onetwopunch - June 09, 2013 10:27 pm
    I hope you find who is doing that sir and they go to jail where ALL thieves belong!!
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search our events calendar