19th-century couple's graves paved over for parking lot

WELLINGTON, Ohio - A businessman building a parking lot on his property paved over the graves of a couple who died more than a century ago.

Thomas Zupan, president of Whirlaway Corp., an automotive and appliance manufacturer, said he spoke with funeral directors and village officials before moving the couple's headstone and covering the grave with asphalt Wednesday.

"I feel bad about it, but I think it was appropriate," he said.

The paved-over grave is next to a building at the company's headquarters in this community about 35 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Charles Seeley and his wife were buried 10 feet from West Herrick Cemetery. Linda Navarre, the cemetery board's clerk, said officials haven't found records about the couple.

No one has been buried in the cemetery since 1909. Charles Seeley died in 1880 and Lucy in 1882.

"Most likely, there's very little left of the Seeleys' remains, and we'd need a court order to move them," Navarre said. "They should be left in peace."

The headstone will be moved onto the cemetery's property next week, Zupan said. He says he will pay to have the remains exhumed and reburied if any surviving family members come forward.

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