Troubleshooters: Taft Burial

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 16:14:49-04

‘Micky’ Aguirre was 76 when she passed last month.
So it’s understandably difficult for her daughter, Irma Uvalle, to talk to us about her.
And what happened at her mom’s burial, at Lamas Memorial Park in Taft.
“My mom didn’t get a proper burial, the way it was supposed to happen.”

Uvalle tells us her family paid Resthaven Funeral Home in Sinton, and Lamas Memorial Park in Taft, to handle arrangements.
She recalled that family and friends had come in for the funeral and interment, which was scheduled for 10 am.
But when they arrived at the cemetery “the markings were there where they marked it, but nothing was dug up,” she told the Troubleshooters.

So, according to Uvalle, they went back to Sinton, then back to Taft at 2 o’clock.
The gravesite still hadn’t been prepared.
“They had to take my mom back to Sinton because there was no gravesite.”

Hard to believe, right?
Listen to what happened next.
“I send my son to go at 5 o’clock to make sure they were dug. He gets there, and it’s still not dug.”

Uvalle showed us receipts, dated April 26th, the day of the burial, totalling $1600.00 that Micky Aguirre’s family paid Lamas Memorial Park to take care of this.
The Troubleshooters went to Frank Lamas’ office in Taft, to get his side of this story.
“Well, you’re gonna have to talk it over with the funeral home,” he told us by phone. “I didn’t handle that deal. All we did was provide services at the cemetery. So talk to the funeral home. I have no idea what was going on with that. Ok, but don’t you run the cemetery ?”

He hung up on us.
To confirm what he said, the Troubleshooters called Resthaven.
They faxed us their response.

Uvalle claims that it wasn’t until after 5 pm, after having to take her mom’s casket back and forth to Sinton and Taft, after family and friends had had to leave, after having to sit and watch her mom’s grave being dug, that the burial took place.
“And I wanted to stay and watch her get buried till the last minute, and they said no, that we had to leave.”
Uvalle believes she’s due a full refund from Lamas.

The letter Resthaven faxed to the Troubleshooters says in part, Lamas Memorial Park knew of the Aguirre burial arrangements on Tuesday, April 23rd, 3 days in advance.
But on Thursday, April 25th, Frank Lamas notified Resthaven he had another commitment Friday morning, April 26th, the day the Aguirre burial had been scheduled.

Turns out, Mrs. Aguirre wasn’t interred till about 8 o’clock Friday night.
Yvonne Hickel, Resthaven’s owner, further writes ‘in my professional opinion, Mr. Lamas’ lack of morals, ethics, and compassion for the Aguirre family caused chaos and unnecessary grief.’