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Graves vandalized in Fergus Falls

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Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - A careless act of vandalism in Fergus Falls, has families picking up the pieces.

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Someone destroyed several headstones, flowers, and vases at the Oak Grove Cemetery.

 

One of their targets was a man who dedicated his life to serving our country, and the city of Fergus Falls.

“I just don't understand it.”

Lisa Schultz-Fred stands in shock after receiving an unexpected call Saturday.

“You wonder, why did they work so hard?”

The call came from her mom who couldn't be at Oak Grove Cemetery today, as she was at another funeral. But said someone had purposely knocked over Lisa's dad's headstone.

Lisa Schultz-Fred/Former Mayor's Daughter: “To me it was like throwing the American Flag on the ground. My dad loved the country. He served in the Korean War. He was a Veterans advocate.”

And her father, Kelly Ferber served the city of Fergus Falls as mayor for more than 20 years, before passing away from lung cancer.

Lisa: "You know, I really wanted to cry. I felt such a deep sadness, not only for us, but I saw all the pots that were thrown around, and just all the disrespect."

The former mayor's gravesite wasn't the only one vandalized. About six other headstones, located closer to the front of the cemetery were knocked over, and flowers and vases were smashed and scattered.

Lisa: "There was a group of them, and then dad's. So it's kind of hard to understand why dad's."

Then Lisa realized her dad's headstone, hit the foot marker of her late husband Patrick Schultz. Lisa lost him in a fatal biking accident several years back, now he's buried right behind her father.

Lisa: "I think of my mom, who I had to sit with Saturday evening who just wept and wept to think someone could do this. I think of my mother in law who comes out here three days a week to be at my husband's grave."

Now Ferber's grave is back standing, but covered in signs of the damage.

Chipped pieces and cracks running through both his and his late son in laws, all because of vandals.

Lisa: "I've really come to feel more sorry for them maybe than for us. We at least have a heart that hurts. It's like how could someone not realize the sacredness of this place?"

And although parts of his marker are still missing, Ferber's mark on the city of Fergus Falls is engraved in the close community he helped piece together.

Lisa: "It's very painful."

Lisa: "It hurts a lot."

Family members say insurance will not cover the damages, but people from the Lakes Association have already said they'd pitch in.  

Lisa's late husband, Patrick, owned Ten-Mile Lake Steakhouse, a 4th generation Schultz family business.

If you have any information about the vandalism, contact Fergus Falls Police.

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Kay Cooley
Kay Cooley came to WDAY 6 News in September of 2012. She was born in a suburb of Chicago then made her home in Hershey, PA. Kay graduated from Northwestern University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Northwestern, Kay was a member of the Division I Women’s Swim Team and a reporter for the Northwestern News Network on campus. Before coming to WDAY, Kay was working for KVRR in Fargo and interned at ABC27 in Harrisburg, PA. When she’s not out in the field reporting, Kay enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family. If you have story ideas, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email Kay at kcooley@wday.com.
(701) 241-5330
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