Funeral director chosen to lead effort to fix and maintain Pearl City cemetery

Families with loved ones at Sunset Memorial Park in Pearl City say not much has changed at the cemetery.

KHON2 has long been reporting on the poor conditions at the cemetery.

For years, Sunset Memorial Park has been plagued with problems, including mishandled burials, stolen urns and in September, we told you about the sunken graves.

“I haven’t seen any improvement to be honest with you,” said Dave Silva.

On Saturday, several people who want to volunteer to improve those conditions gathered at Waiau District Park.

When the meeting started, volunteers were supposed to nominate a board of directors, but some people wanted to make sure they knew exactly what they were signing up for and what they actually can do to improve the cemetery.

Darrell Salvador
Darrell Salvador

So instead, one person was selected to get those answers. Funeral director Darrell Salvador was selected to lead the group of volunteers who hope to maintain Sunset Memorial Park.

His job is now to find out what they can legally do before any action is taken. “Before we get into a problem of liability or hot water, we want to make sure we have all of our resources and get all the info that is needed, and we can do it properly,” Salvador said.

Salvador has family members buried at Sunset Memorial and said he has several years experience in the funeral industry. The group selected him to reach out to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs before any maintenance or management committees are established.

He said “longterm, we are hoping to accomplish and getting the cemetery, number one, fixed, making it presentable where families and friends can come pay respect to their loved ones.”

And Salvador may get some help from lawmakers. State Rep. Greg Takayama was at the meeting and said “what we are prepared to do as legislators is, if need be, we will introduce legislation to have the state take over the management and operation of the cemetery.”

State Sen. Clarence Nishihara said “we will work out what the language may be for that bill. We are not exactly clear on what the bill will say, but I’m sure as we discuss it further, we can come up with some bill that will hope to be heard in the House and Senate.”

At the last meeting in October, Pastor Lago Dozinn told families he will continue to fix the problems, but he wasn’t at the meeting on Saturday.

The next schedule meeting is January 9, 2016.

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