When Leroy Bonner died at the age of 81 last month, his relatives held a small memorial service and printed an obituary. Several weeks later, Bonner's brother found something odd in the local paper: a notice for another memorial service, this one seeking donations in Bonner's name. The family had nothing to do with it.
FOX 29's Chris O'Connell interviewed a niece of Bonner's, who said the family is upset that the Lighthouse Baptist Church is soliciting for donations in their relative's name. "This is hurtful," said Anna Fabrizi-Groves. "We're trying to mourn, we're trying to heal—and it's like he just died yesterday."
According to Lighthouse Baptist Pastor Jim Doster, it's what Bonner, a 17-year member of the church, wanted. The pastor said Bonner's "wishes were very well known to everyone in the church." Bonner didn't write out his wishes, Pastor Doster says, because "he couldn't write."
The Pastor told FOX 29 that he would give the funds to the family. However, Fabrizi-Groves said they never heard such an offer being made.