BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – When Walter LaFlamme died in January, his son Benjamin had him buried the next day alongside his wife of 53 years, in accordance, he said, with the elder LaFlamme’s wishes.

But now two of Benjamin LaFlamme’s siblings have petitioned the court to exhume their father, saying they weren’t given a chance to offer their last respects.

Cynthia Nardella and her brother Raymond LaFlamme won a favorable ruling from the Bennington County Probate Court in late January, but the matter has been appealed to the Bennington Superior Court.

“When Walter LaFlamme passed away … Benjamin LaFlamme immediately made arrangements with the funeral home to have him buried the following morning, without telling Cynthia Nardella or her other brother, Raymond LaFlamme, that he had died,” the probate court decision said.

“Cynthia Nardella only learned of her father’s demise upon receiving a phone call from her former attorney after the fact,” it added.

“All of his family is shocked that this happened and are waiting to pay their respects and say goodbye to Walter,” Nardella wrote in a court filing.

Court documents say Benjamin LaFlamme did not attend the hearing on Nardella’s motion, but filed a statement with the court that said, “I petition the court to order an end to the harassment by Cindy Nardella.”

“Talk of exhumation of my father is insane,” he added. “His last wishes were that he have a nice service, which he had at the funeral home, and to be buried next to his wife of 53 years.”

Anthony LaFlamme, who is incarcerated in Kentucky, sided with Benjamin LaFlamme in a written statement.

“In all reality, my father could have cared less about a big funeral,” LaFlamme wrote. “My father was a peaceable man. He’s (been) laid to rest alongside his wife, our mother … Please, let my father rest in peace.”

Information from: Bennington Banner, http://www.benningtonbanner.com

AP-ES-03-29-08 1252EDT


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