Family responds to News 4 story, helps clean deplorable conditions at Metro East cemetery - KMOV.com

Family responds to News 4 story, helps clean deplorable conditions at Metro East cemetery

CENTREVILLE, Illinois (KMOV) -- A problem which has existed for years got attention quickly after News 4 reported.

News 4’s Mike Colombo reported on Tuesday about the deplorable conditions at the Booker T. Washington Cemetery in Centreville, and one Myra Coate’s efforts to clean the place up.

It turns out the woman received some help just hours after the story aired.

“I immediately grabbed up my weed eaters and lawnmowers and two of my grandkids and came out here,” said Carl Willyard, who returned to the cemetery on Wednesday with family and friends.

Willyard said helping feels like he is giving new life to those buried at the cemetery.

“That was my goal. I wanted to dig ‘em up and give ‘em life again. Even though they were buried away, I wanted to give them life,” Willyard said.

Willyard says his family will continue to go back. He hopes others will join.

“Now that ya’ll showed this on TV,  hopefully there’ll be others that’ll come and help and get this straightened up, ‘cause I’ll be out here all the time, every weekend, just to make sure this is kept up,” Willyard said.

As for Myra Coates, she was also at the cemetery on Wednesday, bringing the Willyards cold drinks and pizza.

Those who want to help can visit Booker T. Washington Cemetery, which is located off Highway 163, just west of Highway 157 outside of Centreville.

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