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Gravestone mistake frustrates Dearborn widow

Dearborn widow calls Help Me Hank over gravestone mistake

DETROIT – Many emotions went through a local widow's mind when she saw another mistake on her husband's headstone: anger, frustration and impatience.

Helen Kushnir wanted to see the problem solved and she contacted Local 4's Help Me Hank. Kushnir's husband died on Dec. 12, 2014. Daniel Kushnir was a World War II veteran and worked at the Detroit News for almost 50 years. His family created a remarkable tombstone that paid tribute to him and would one day also honor Helen.

The contract with Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit said the couple's "sunset" dates would be added to the tombstone after their deaths. Kushnir says the date of Daniel's death wasn't added right way, but she tried to be patient. Unfortunately, when the date was added, it was wrong. It said Dec. 17, 2014.

"I've been there and they've had papers. I keep telling them make sure you put the 12th. Make sure you put the 12th," Kushnir said with frustration in her voice.

She said she's been pushing Woodmere to make the correction for months. Then, she couldn't believe what happened next. A confusing solution to the gravestone mistake Kushnir says she visited the grave of her veteran husband just before Memorial Day last month.

Now, the 7 had been removed from the 17th, but the date was not completely corrected. Her frustration grew.

"He didn't die on the 17th. He didn't die on the 1st. He died on the 12th! And I say, you know there was somebody there doing the work. They took the 7 off. Why couldn't they just put a 2 on there and solve the problem?" she said. 

Helen said  the cemetery wanted to send her more paperwork to confirm the change to Dec. 12. Help Me Hank gets results The Help Me Hank team contacted Woodmere Cemetery on June 1 and the problem with the date was corrected by 5:45 p.m. the next day, according to the cemetery.

Local 4's Hank Winchester visited the Daniel Kushnir's grave with his widow and for Helen this little change made a big difference.

"Well, it's the way I want it!" she said.

Woodmere Cemetery released a statement to Help Me Hank that said, in part:

It appears there was some confusion in the past, over the dates, and this caused a delay as we attempted to correct it. We have sincerely apologized to Mrs. Kushnir for this unfortunate experience."

"It's amazing how I had to go a year and a half fighting for this, and you could get it done in one day," said Helen Kushnir.

If you have a problem you think Help Me Hank should investigate, please call 313-298-WDIV (9348) or write an email to helpmehank@clickondetroit.com. Please include a brief summary of the issue, your contact information, and any information you have on all the parties involved. 

There is a team of Help Me Hank volunteers that work to resolve stories that might not be on television. Please remember we focus primarily on consumer disputes over goods or services that have not been delivered as promised.


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