Removed gravesite benches cause uproar at Bryan cemetery

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - It’s a post that’s now gone viral on Facebook, a picture of benches at the City of Bryan cemetery, removed from gravesites and piled up for families to take home.

The picture sparked some concern among Bryan residents.

Monday, families stopped by to pick up the benches city staff had tagged and piled near the cemetery’s entrance.

“We come out here on mother’s day and put it out here. It’s been out here for six years,” said Camelia Rice a resident who says she found out on Facebook that her mother’s concrete bench was removed.
Rice and others say they had no idea cemetery staff was going to get rid of the benches.

Bob Holmes, the cemetery sexton, says gravesites with a concrete or wooden bench are no longer allowed citing safety concerns.

“They get dry rotted in the sun,” he said. “They are not safe to sit on.”
Holmes says signs about the changes were posted for nearly a year.
“We have tried to do our best,” he said. “When we’ve run into folks out here we ask them to pick them up.”

But, Camelia says she there is a reason she didn’t know about the change.

“You don’t even see these signs until you pull in,” she said. “You don’t see anything from the road saying that you need to come and check on your gravesites.

Holmes says he understands their frustrations and welcomes families to reach out to him with their concerns.

“The sentimental value to us it means a lot to our family,” said Rice.
The cemetery will now only accept benches that are made out of metal, marble and granite.