Cemeteries are designed and cared for as places of peace and respect for those grieving, and as memorials to loved ones. However, what appears to be vandalism and theft at Virden Cemetery has left the Kenderdine family hurt and angry.
It was June 11, just 13 months ago, that Vivian Kenderdine lost her life in a motorcycle accident in South Dakota.
This summer, a memorial of flowers and mementos were placed upon Vivian’s grave by husband Rick, daughter Tara Nield, and sons Dalton and Quinn. Then it disappeared.
Rick Kenderdine is outraged over this disrespect to his wife’s grave. He stated, “My kids pitched in to get a special flower arrangement for the length of the headstone. Somebody stole it!”
Firmly secured by a metal frame, the family says the tribute did not just blow away. In July he called Virden RCMP detachment. It happened to be a weekend and it took some time to even get a response to his call. The matter has not been solved.
On her Facebook page, Nield addresses the thief saying, “[…] the flower arrangement, lights and hummingbird from our Momma’s headstone - kindly return it to where it belongs. Also, the small green stone that read ‘Peace’.”
Chief Administrator Rhonda Stewart said, “It is very sad and disrespectful when individuals cause vandalism or theft anywhere, but so much worse in a cemetery.” She said this is the first report of vandalism at the cemetery. “Sometimes staff finds flowers a little way away from a grave or pots tipped over, but generally that is caused by either wind, or wildlife. That does not appear to be the case in the Kenderdine incident though.”
Town staff and cemetery manager Cory Nixon searched the grounds to no avail.
Virden RCMP responded to an Empire-Advance inquiry saying, “Anytime we receive a report of a crime, we try to gather the evidence to substantiate any leads or suspects. Unfortunately, we don't solve every crime.” The detachment is not aware of any other vandalism at the cemetery.
The RCMP says that anyone with knowledge of this, or any, crime should submit a tip through Crime Stoppers and can remain anonymous.