A cemetery in Iowa thinks a family’s last prank with a loved one is a serious mistake.
Steven “Stevie” Paul Owens died on September 2, 2021, “to play Yahtzee in Heaven with his mother”, The lifelong Cubs and Steelers fan, who “loved his conversation with a shot of a fireball” was buried at Warren-Powers Cemetery in Polk County.
Which was well and good until Owens’ family decided to use colorful language in their hut by adding some subtle slurs to their recently established headstone, local news channel KCCI-TV. Report.
One side of the headstone is completely innocent, with a saying that Owens’ grandparents were fond of using: “If you don’t listen, you have to feel.”
However, on the other side are several strategically placed lines, the first letters of which “shut the crap”.
Owens’ family members said that Owens would have liked the hidden message – and he used the phrase frequently.
“It was definitely their love period,” Owens’ daughter Lindsay Owens Andrews told KCCI. “If he didn’t like you, he didn’t talk to you. That’s who he was.”
Owens’ son, Zachary Owens, told the television station that he and other family members sometimes tried to get the phrase out of him.
“He’s easily offended. It was always some kind of goal to ask you to do this,” Zachary Owens said. Steven Owens’ survivors said he did not know of the inscription before his death, but they would find it amusing.
Unfortunately, the families of Warren-Powers Cemetery and others who are buried in the grounds don’t seem to find the joke very funny.
The cemetery’s board of trustees asked the Owens family and the headstone’s manufacturer not to keep it. But he did it anyway.
In an emailed statement to the local news station WHOThe board said profanity is not allowed on the monuments because “those who have a place in the cemetery have a right to decency.”
“They do not want nor do they appreciate having stones in the cemetery,” the statement said. “This community will not stop until their headstone is removed.”
But the Owens family thinks everyone else should be lighter (and maybe a shot of Fireball can help).
“No one is forcing anyone to come out and watch it. It’s a choice you make,” Zachary Owens told KCCI. He said, ‘We did not do this to hurt anyone or hurt anyone’s sentiments. We did it because he was our father and we love him and that’s how we remember him.”