KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 3, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Two-year-old Naomi Grace Mollon died last year in a drowning accident at a Katy home. The community came together to support the Mollon family through this tragedy, and now, they are rallying behind them again. This week, the family discovered their daughter’s graveside memorial items tossed in a dumpster at Katy’s Magnolia Cemetery. They are outraged, but once again, find love and support from the community.
Naomi Mollon's grave at Magnolia Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Jessica Mollon.
Naomi Mollon’s grave at Magnolia Cemetery is frequently visited by her family and friends. Since the little girl’s burial, the Mollons have left items around her grave. Yesterday, Naomi’s aunt went to visit and was horrified to see all of the memorial items were gone.
Magnolia Grounds Maintenance Reaches Out (UPDATE)
UPDATE: Chris Henderson with ground maintenance at Magnolia Cemetery reached out to Katy Magazine and confirmed that certified letters went out to families that were in violation of their contracts giving them 30 days to remove unauthorized items.
“We want to help both sides here,” says Henderson. “We are good caring people. This is our livelihood but we are trying to go above and beyond to help them.” Henderson says he understands that families don’t always remember or read the contracts they sign during times of grief which is why Magnolia Cemetery took the time to send individual certified letters, giving families in violation 30 days notice to remove their sentimental items.
Henderson states that this is an ongoing process and letters will continue to go out as they cleanup different sections.
Certified Letter Sent
“Tractors can’t move around efficiently to maintain the grounds or dig graves,” says Henderson. “We’ve also had visitor complaints of people falling over items left around graves. We made the decision to enforce the rules that everyone signed in their contracts.”
Memorial Items Recovered from Dumpster
Naomi’s family was able to recover the items from a dumpster. They also rescued memorial items belonging to other families.
Jessica Mollon, Naomi's mother, turned to friends and followers on Facebook to express her outrage at the treatment.
“Katy Magnolia Cemetery, this is unacceptable,” says Jessica. “Just last week was the anniversary of my sweet angel’s tragic accident and this is how she is honored?”
In the comments section, hundreds of people reacted to the treatment of the graveside memorial items.
“That’s terrible! I’m so sorry that happened to her resting place! People have all sorts of things out there,” writes Ashleigh Nalesnik on Facebook.
Notified to Remove Only One Item
“We were notified by mail to remove her heart sign and her heart sign only. Nothing else was listed,” says Jessica.
The Mollons removed the sign last month.
“I felt like they should have notified us like they did with her heart (sign) before they threw everything in the dumpster,” says Jessica. “They could have given me a heads up or moved everything to the side.”
Call for Families to Check on Loved One’s Graves
“For anyone who has a loved one out there (at Magnolia Cemetery) try to make it over sooner rather than later,” says Jessica. “I dug everything I could out of the dumpster and left it out for the owners to claim.”
Katy Magnolia Cemetery's Response:
“I’m so sorry that you have had to experience this,” states Lauren Shruggs on Facebook. “In times like these, it’s sad that this is what’s important to the cemetery. Removing people’s thoughts, memories, pain, and happiness. I hope you can find peace in your heart, the love for your daughter has never wavered.”
The Mollons, like anyone who has a loved one buried at Magnolia Cemetery, signed a contract outlining what can and cannot be included around the graves.
Mollon Contract with Magnolia Cemetery
“The chairs have been there since she was buried last year,” says Jessica. “We go for love, we go for healing, and now we go for more hurt?”
The Mollons were not the only family to have such items around a loved one’s grave.
Local Government Has No Jurisdiction
Many people reached out to the Katy governing offices and leaders regarding the issue. However, Magnolia Cemetery is privately owned. The government has nothing to do with it.
Hastings left a statement for the family on the growing Facebook thread.
“Bill and I are very sorry this happened to you and the other families,” says Hastings. “The cemetery is privately owned and the city has no jurisdiction over what has happened. We are so so sorry. Our prayer is for everyone to find all their special mementos.”
Other Families Speak Out
“So sorry, my son is also buried there,” says Rhonda Salveski. “Usually, we are allowed to have some memorial items, unfortunately not all chairs or benches are allowed. I have had a few items removed. One was a cross...what kind of lowlife takes something off a grave? So sorry for the loss of your child. The other items…they can be replaced.”
“I’m there everyday visiting my son,” says Kimberly Hall Crow. “They haven’t taken anything from mine yet. But if they do, I will be very, very upset. I hope that they don’t know what it’s like to lose one of your children.”
"The same thing just happened to us today with Ga Ram gravesite," says Jocelyn Kang. "Like you, I’m roaring in anger."
Noami Saved Lives with Organ Donation
While Naomi’s death was an unimaginable tragedy, the Mollons found some comfort in the fact that their daughter saved four lives because of organ donation.
"As few know, Naomi will continue to live on. She gave the gift of life through organ donation. My baby has been a MIRACLE to so many families,” said Jessica.
Naomi saved a 3-month-old, 4-month-old, 39-year-old, and a 53-year-old.
Naomi Grace Mollon. Photo credit: Jessica Mollon.
The Mollons will continue to frequent their daughter’s grave.
“I’m doing as well as I possibly could be, considering,” says Jessica. “I owe my strength to my faith.”
“It’s never a good time but it’s something that has to be done,” says Henderson as the cemetery works to clean up the area people go to honor and grieve their loved ones.
Registration to become an organ donor happens on the state level. Texas residents can either sign up when getting/renewing a driver's license, or complete the form on the Health Resources and Services Administration site. Options allow donors to select all organs applicable or specify which organs they are willing to donate. Donors should tell family and friends so they can help support their wishes to help save lives.