Military widow shocked to find stranger’s name on husband’s headstone

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Lookout

A military widow who wanted a visit to her husband’s grave to be “unforgettable” found it memorable, but for the wrong reason: Another woman’s name was written on her husband’s headstone.

Edna Fielden was heartbroken to discover the mistake on a visit last weekend with her grandchildren to the gravesite of the grandfather they never met. Her husband is buried at Denver's Fort Logan cemetery, but Fielden has since relocated to Minnesota.

On one side, the name of her husband, Air Force Master Sergeant Billy Fielden, who was buried there 25 years ago. On the other side, where her name should be, is the name of a stranger.

"A piece of my heart broke off. I gasped and said who is this," Fielden told WKYC News. Worse, Fielden worried that another woman was buried with her husband, a place she planned to be herself one day.

The cemetery director, Joe Turnbach, was able to confirm that the woman named on the headstone was buried in another plot. He believes the engraver made a mistake a decade ago and never told anyone. "I do want to apologize to the family and somehow we want to make this right," Turnbach told WKYC.

The cemetery plans to have a new headstone installed, minus the wrong name, in two weeks.

But Fielden is finished with this cemetery and plans to move her husband’s body closer to her new home. The paperwork is in process to get it done.

"I don't want him here anymore," Fielden said.