Let Richard Cody rest in peace at Painesville Riverside Cemetery

This petition made change with 3,594 supporters!

To Painesville City Manager Carson, Painesville City Council, the Painesville Parks And Cemeteries Division, and anyone else with jurisdiction over the matter that follows:

Richard Cody, a motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, friend, and neighbor, passed away in September of 2013 and was buried at Riverside Cemetery. This cemetery is owned and operated by the City Of Painesville. In April of 2016, over two years after his passing, Richard's ex-wife Amy Johnson was notified by the city that her ex-husband's tombstone was "unapproved" and would therefore be altered by the City if not changed within 60 days.

The "unapproved" design? A logo and abbreviation for the South Madison Motorcycle Club.

Amy shared this information with her friends and family on Facebook, where the post has gone viral (link to Amy's original post).

Friends and strangers alike have voiced the desire to help. Therefore, we, the undersigned, are hoping our collective voices are heard on behalf of Richard and his family.

We feel that the last wishes of the dead ought to be respected so long as they do not infringe on others' rights.  Since the City permits a variety of religious symbols in their cemeteries without prejudice, and a motorcycle club is religion for many bikers, there ought to be no restriction of this last wish. Further, if this symbol is due to be ground off because someone believes it is 'offensive', the City ought to insist that all other religious symbols are removed so as to not offend non-religious cemetery visitors.

We feel that the City, by questioning the legality of this tombstone, has reopened a wound for all of those who loved Richard. His family, friends, cemetery patrons, and the general public, ought to be given another option besides "change it within 60 days or we will".

We feel that if the tombstone design was altered after initial approval by the City, the tombstone ought to be permitted to be resubmitted for review. After all, funeral and burial planning can be hectic and confusing for those involved.

We recognize the need to have design and decoration standards in City-owned cemeteries, but we feel that this tombstone is modest in size and shape, and its design does not in any way detract from the overall beauty of the Riverside Cemetery.

Lastly, we ask that the City Of Painesville (collectively as one body of government) right this wrong by allowing Richard to truly rest in peace.

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