Kevin Pomerleau’s headstone had to be washed after it was vandalized in Red Deer Cemetery. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Family upset: Vandals desecrate Red Deer Cemetery grave

‘My wife cried most of yesterday’

Devastated parents had to wash down their four-year-old son’s headstone at Red Deer Cemetery on Monday after someone used it as a toilet.

Dan Pomerleau, of Calgary, said someone sat on top of the headstone and defecated down the front of it.

“My wife cried most of yesterday,” said Pomerleau about his wife Wendy.

“We were talking last night about getting a new stone for Kevin because it’s kind of disgusting that somebody would do that.”

Desecrating a grave in any way is terrible, but this was a whole different level, Pomerleau said.

He said a groundskeeper provided them with a pail of water to clean up the grave.

He hoped to get the headstone power washed and reached out to the Red Deer RCMP about the vandalism.

City of Red Deer Parks Superintendent Trevor Poth confirmed the incident Tuesday afternoon and said, unfortunately, vandalism at the 9.2-hectare cemetery is something they deal with a few times a year.

“It included smearing a substance across a couple of gravestones and some litter and just inappropriate activity,” Poth said of the weekend incident.

“Probably a couple of times a year we deal with situations where we’ve had damage to one of the cemeteries, either at the Alto Reste Cemetery or the Red Deer Cemetery. They’re always unfortunate situations, those cemeteries are such places of respect and reflection that we never like to see anything inappropriate there.

“Our staff out there are so caring and passionate about their work, they usually can take care of any of the damages very quickly and get things back in shape.”

Kevin died in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1987, and was brought back to be buried in the family plot at Red Deer Cemetery.

Pomerleau, who grew up in Red Deer, said he and his wife usually visit the grave about every three months. The pandemic prevented them from coming out in March.

“Kevin is a big part of us. It’s hard to talk about him.”

Poth encouraged any citizens who do see vandalism occurring in cemeteries or parks to call the RCMP immediately.


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