UPDATE - Y2K Still a "Grave" Problem...

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Title: Y2K still a grave problem

May 11, 2000

Cemeteries and funeral homes are now starting to see the Y2K glitch. Some grave markers purchased before the new millennium and before the buyers' deaths were engraved with the number 19 followed by two blanks, the rest of the year to be filled in at the time of death.

There aren't a lot of these now-outdated stones out there, but there are some. And options for fixing them are limited and costly. The 19s can be filled in and rechiseled or cut out and replaced, but potentially at the cost of poorly matched granite. Some stones will simply need to be replaced, an option that can cost hundreds of dollars.

Anticipating the glitch, Duluth Monument Co. stopped putting 19s on their markers in 1980. And Northern Granite Co. rarely ever did put on the 19s.

``It isn't that we were very smart or thinking ahead,'' said Gale Wells, who this spring affixed bronze plates over two outdated 19s in her Barron shop. ``It's just that it's easier to line up the numbers and keep them straight when you do all four of them at once rather than two at a time.''

Still, there are some problem grave markers out there. And, ``It's only May,'' said Tim Stresow of Calvary Cemetery in Duluth. ``I'm sure we've just started seeing these problem markers. We'll likely see them for years down the line.''



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), May 11, 2000

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