Church sues after family posts alcohol bottle on man's headstone

Headstone of Wilmer Frank Soles 
By: Moses Gold 

Wilmer Frank Soles of Gloucester County, Virginia, is fondly known as "Soles." Soles was a United States army veteran, who died on June 24, 2011 from throat cancer.

He has asked his family to bury him next to his mother and to make him a nice headstone. The family honored his wishes.

They ordered a $4,000 headstone, which included a picture of Soles favorite pickup truck, a photograph of him playing cards and drinking alcohol with his friend Butch.

However, the two inch tall bottle of Kentucky Gentleman bourbon has upset the Salem United Methodist Church. The church owns the cemetery and claims that the photo is offensive to its members as well as other families, who have loved ones buried in the cemetery.

The church owners asked the family to buff off the bottle from the photo, but the family refused to do so.

Now, the church is suing the family. In the lawsuit, the church claims that the family has no property rights to the burial plot. The church is giving the family three options; buff both pictures from the marker, remove the headstone altogether or remove the dead body.

The church had no rules in place that called for family members to go through an approval process on the designs of headstones before it is ordered.

"I did something to memorialize the way my father lived his life, I'm sorry they don't like who he was, but that's who he was," the dead man's daughter said.

His daughter admitted that her father was a heavy drinker.

"We had a lot of problems with his drinking, but he never hurt anybody except for himself. He was a good man, all I did was memorialize the way he lived his life," his daughter Shawn Carter said.



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