Caretakers upset after finding Kansas City cemetery likely damaged by reckless driver

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Up a hill near Northeast Harvey and Doniphan Avenue in the Northland is a small cemetery, no bigger than a baseball field. It’s called Minneville Cemetery, and it’s especially dear to Joyce Schumacher and her cousin, Roberta Deckman.

“I love this place. I mean I was born right here in what used to be Minneville Village,” Schumacher said.

“And I just love putting the pink and yellow roses on everybody’s tombstones, including people I don’t even know,” Deckman said.

The two women have family members that are buried at Minneville Cemetery.

“We enjoy doing this for all of them,” Deckman said.

However, now the two 80-year-old cemetery caretakers -- who usually smile when they spruce up the graves of their loved ones, two Civil War heroes and many others -- are now in tears.

Joyce Schumacher and Roberta Deckman

“Yes, it does make me cry because we try so hard to keep it looking nice, and then someone just comes along and destroys it and throws trash all over everything. It’s just not right,” Deckman said.

The women said someone recently disgraced the historic cemetery.

“I took lots of pictures of the damaged, and I also called police, “ Schumacher said.

They believe someone, likely a trucker, trekked up the hill, and while turning their big rig around, ripped off the west-side fence to the cemetery’s only entrance, damaged a couple of trees and left behind tire tracks in the mud and pieces from a truck on the ground.

“It’s just terrible," Schumacher said. "A nice Kansas City police officer tried to fix it, but he couldn’t get the fence to stay up. I want the truck driver, the trucking company, the tow truck driver, whoever had to help him get out -- I want them to fess up and fix this fence. Put it back the way that it was."

Moreover, it’s still unclear if the cemetery culprit also turned over a tombstone the disappointed women discovered Friday.

“They just don’t have any respect for the dead," Deckman said. "I hope they’re now proud of destroying such a beautiful place.”