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Widow finds woman's name on husband's gravestone

9:13 AM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER -- A military widow wants to know why another woman's name is engraved on her husband's headstone.

She discovered the mistake while visiting his grave at Fort Logan cemetery over the weekend.

Air Force Master Sergeant Billy Fielden was buried in a picturesque corner of the cemetery 25 years ago.

"I used to come out here and I always talked to him. I thought he will be so happy here," Bill's widow Edna Fielden said.

Fielden has since moved more than 700 miles away to Minnesota.

She wanted to bring her grandchildren to meet the man who served his country for 26 years, and served his family until cardiac arrest took him away.

"He turned 58 in the hospital in a coma," Fielden said.

Edna wanted this trip to be special and unforgettable, just like Bill.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful father and a wonderful grandfather and these kids unfortunately never knew him," Fielden said.

She never imagined what they would find when they came to visit his grave on Saturday.

"A piece of my heart broke off. I gasped and said who is this," Fielden said.

A stranger's name is engraved on what's supposed to be her side of Bill's headstone.

"I thought this woman was in this grave with him as I want to be," Fielden said.

All weekend, she worried but couldn't get any answers because cemetery offices were closed.

Cemetery director Joe Turnbach says the woman on Bill's headstone is buried with her husband in another plot, and only Bill is laid to rest in that space.

He believes a headstone engraver made a mistake more than a decade ago, but never told anyone.

"I do want to apologize to the family and somehow we want to make this right," Turnbach said.

Turnbach promises to have a new headstone delivered to Fort Logan in two weeks.

Edna wants Bill's body moved to Minnesota.

Turnbach promised to begin the process of filing out paperwork to make that happen, but says getting permission from the government can be a lengthy process.

Edna says her husband's resting place will never feel the same because all she sees now is a stranger's name on her husband's headstone.

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

KUSA 9News, Gannett

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