Thursday, December 8

Ohio man claims cemetery removed marriage date from his shared headstone with his late husband

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The sudden passing of Jason Neto was devastating to his husband Darrell Frye.

The two had met in 2007, but Neto’s heart attack in March of 2020 cut short their plans to spend the rest of their lives together.

With Neto’s parents, Frye buried late husband’s ashes in the St. Kateri Preserve at Calvary Cemetery, a Catholic place of rest in Dayton, Ohio. It was a joint plot where Frye could one day be laid to rest beside his partner.

The burial plot included a memorial boulder on which Frye could engrave legal names, dates of birth and death, and an epitaph of up to 30 characters. He opted to only list their wedding date: “Married 23 July 2016.”

The original headstone with marriage date

The boulder was installed in August of 2022, but then went missing in September. Frye inquired at the cemetery.

“They told me at that time the engraver had done a tour and done an inspection and had notice that some of the text, the edges were crumbling,” Frye told WHIO.

When the boulder was returned in October, their wedding date had been removed.

“Erased. Dug out of the rock as if it had never happened,” Frye posted on social media.

Darrell Frye (left) and Jason Neto

Frye said he and Neto’s family had intentionally chosen Calvary Cemetery due to Neto’s Catholic upbringing. But Frye said he checked with the cemetery first to ensure there wouldn’t be an issue.

“I point blank asked. I said, ‘Is it going to be a problem that we’re a gay couple and buying a plot here?’” said Frye.

Frye claims that Calvary assured him there wouldn’t be a problem.

The Buckeye Flame reached out to Calvary Cemetery for comment but has not yet received a response.

Frye has retained legal counsel and told The Buckeye Flame that he is now in negotiation with the cemetery to come to a settlement.

“Having our relationship erased from the record and eternal resting place without warning or explanation is humiliating,” Frye said an online fundraiser to cover legal expenses and a new headstone. 🔥

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The Buckeye Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content that chronicles our triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences.

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