Holland man at odds with township over wife’s headstone

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-07 10:43:25-04

HOLLAND TWP. - Mike Bradford spent nearly $4,000 designing and creating his wife's headstone at North Holland Cemetery.  Before applying his wife Vicki's favorite statue of a goose, Lucy Goosey, Bradford says he asked for permission from the Township Board.  He says he received permission and installed it in September.

Bradford says within two months he started receiving letters from the township and eventually the township's attorney telling him it had to come down or they'd remove Lucy Goosey for him.  Holland Township said the headstone violated the rules of their ordinance, specifically the part about no statues.

"I would have been a little upset, a little bummed out if they told me that I couldn't do it (originally), but I'd rather have dealt with that then, then to deal with this now, " said Bradford.

After several months of back and forth, the township removed the entire headstone last-week.

"My sister-in-law called me bawling on Monday because she came here and found it empty, completely gone.   They took the whole headstone and it`s out back there just sitting there," Bradford added.

Township Manager Don Komejan would not speak on camera on the matter, but told FOX 17, "We want to sit down collectively with Mr. Bradford to resolve this issue and we're ready to do that but he refuses to meet with us."

Bradford told FOX 17, if the township offered to pay for a new headstone, without Lucy Goosey, he'd be willing to put the entire issue to rest adding, "I want my wife to lay at rest and this is just tough on the whole family."