More local volunteers were at Fairview Memorial Park Tuesday morning mowing the lawn and painting the sign prior to Memorial Day.
The cemetery is owned by Theodore and Arminda Martin, a couple from Ravenna, Ohio, who are currently charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and theft. Prosecutors said they took money for items and services at the cemetery, but never followed through with any deliveries and gambled the money away on many occasions.
Paul O’Bryan, of Delaware, said he has family members buried at Fairview and was so disturbed by the lack of maintenance at the cemetery that he has been coming to Fairview for the last several weeks to mow the grass.
“Until someone starts doing something with it we will keep taking care of it,” O’Bryan said. “It’s the right thing to do and the respectful thing.”
O’Bryan said he has been organizing local volunteers on the Facebook page “You know you’re from Delaware, OH when…” and was joined on Tuesday by Lorie Evans, the owner of Evans All Around Landscaping and George Beyer, the owner of George Beyer Painting.
Evans said she also has family members buried at the cemetery and said she and her son, Austin Moore, and her nephew Jaydon Moore were happy to mow.
“I’m more than honored to help out,” Evans said. “I’m willing to do it weekly. It does need to look presentable.”
Beyer said he was contacted by a friend who asked it he would come and repaint the weathered sign at Fairview.
“I’m more than willing to volunteer my time,” Beyer said. “What’s the cost to me? Two quarts of paint and three hours; that’s fine.”
The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office has filed a civil suit against the Martins and is asking Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley to appoint a receiver for the cemetery so its affairs can be resolved and it can be sold.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Civil Division, Christopher Betts said last week that the receiver would be in charge of caring for the cemetery, including lawn care.
A hearing on the civil case will be held on May 19 at 2 p.m.
Arminda was arraigned in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Monday and pleaded not guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and 37 counts of theft. She is scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 8.
Theodore has also been charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and 51 counts of theft. He was scheduled to stand trial on May 30, but the trial was delayed. A new trial has not yet been scheduled.
The Martins were in federal prison Tuesday, each serving a one year sentence for a federal tax evasion case.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.
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