Society

Ohio Dad Sues Cemetery Over Complaints That Shrine For His Dead Son Is Too Big

| by Allison Geller

Neighbors are complaining about the display a grieving Ohio father created in a local cemetery. Fred Molai says he's found himself with no choice but to take his son’s grave to court.

"I come here visit him every morning," Fred Molai, 57, told WKYC.

The grieving father has visited his son’s shrine at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent every day since his death almost three years ago.

23-year-old Adam Molai, a petty officer in the Navy, died in a rafting accident in June 2011.

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"I've been here 971 days in a row, and Adam has been gone 1045 days," Molai said. "I keep tab of it every day because every day goes by I'm closer to him."

Molai first paid tribute to his son with a flower bed, then added posts with Adam’s pictures. That’s when he began getting complaints.

"I have received a letter from them that they want me to lower the picture down," Molai said.

The cemetery wrote Molai a letter asking him to take down the posts, saying they violate cemetery rules. But Molai isn’t giving in to the requests—instead he’s taking his case to court. Molai is suing the cemetary and Portage County to keep the photos up. 

"There is no height limit in standing rock, and I don't believe that I violated any rules," Molai explained. "I don't believe that I've done enough. There is no limit what you should do for your child. And the love that I got for Adam, it's so deep. And I really don't believe I've done enough for him."

A state board will decide on Molai’s case early next month. Meanwhile, neighbors are trying not to seem callous as they request that Molai tone down his display.

"My heart goes out to him it really does," said neighbor Richard Rericha. "If everybody did these huge displays like this you would not have any visibility for anything."

But Molai says he can’t agree to smaller posts.

"I cannot have a limit for the love I have for my son," he said.

Sources: WKYC, Associated Press