Residents don’t like grave site in neighborhood

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Tension has filled the subdivision of Lazy Acres.

In the middle of a yard lies the grave of Blake Michael Allison, 20, a resident from Selma who recently died in a car crash.

The yard, however, which closely borders Lazy Acres is not a cemetery–at least not in the eyes of many residents who live in the subdivision.

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Allison was buried in his parents backyard on Wednesday, something which has left many residents in the area feeling upset and even a little confused.

Sandy Jones, a resident who lives in a house near the gravesite, said when she looks outside her second floor window everyday, she witnesses a site that she would rather not see.

“I didn’t move here to be closer to a cemetery,” Jones said. “I feel really bad that this had to happen to their son. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. But this is something that nobody should have to see everyday.”

Jones said she and 40 other residents in the area would be holding a meeting to discuss not only

how to remedy their situation but also to ensure that legislation would be passed to prevent other residents from having to go through the same ordeal.

“We just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said.

The story, however, does not end here.

There is a reason for the burial, say Allison’s parents.

Leonard Allison and Marion Allison said they buried their son in their backyard because both they and the son, whom they said they loved so much, lacked insurance money to pay for his burial in a cemetery.

“We originally wanted to bury him at Pineview Cemetery,” said Marion Allison. “The problem is it would cost us $1,300 to buy a plot, money which we just didn’t have. He needed a proper burial, and we really didn’t have very much time to set anything up.”

With time being limited and costs high, the Allisons said they then called the Dallas County Health Department and Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones before making the final decision to bury their son in their own backyard.

“We didn’t do anything until we were told we could do so,” said Marion Allison. “All I can say is that our neighbors have blown this way out of proportion.”

Dallas County Commissioner Roy Moore, who oversees District 2, where the Lazy Acres subdivision is located, said that the burial was “most likely” legal.

“There is really probably not much that can be done now, since the body has already been buried,” Moore said. “As far as I know, as long as you get approval from the health department, it is legal.”

Moore, who added that he would be meeting with residents who had complaints about the burial, said that he hoped that legislation would be passed to prohibit “something like this from happening again.”

“When neighbors are living this close together, especially in rural areas, it can present some problems,” Moore said.

The Allisons, meanwhile, although saddened by their sons death, say they are happy that he is close by.

“We’ve got our son at home, and we can visit him anytime we want to,” said Leonard Allison. Added Marion Allison, “This is the way that many families used to bury their dead. I really do believe that there is nothing wrong with what we did.”