Condition of memorial mausoleum ‘disrespectful’

These photos taken by Jo and Al on Memorial Day show water damage and boarded up windows inside the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland. (Photos courtesy of Jo and Al)
These photos taken by Jo and Al on Memorial Day show water damage and boarded up windows inside the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland. (Photos courtesy of Jo and Al)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The family of loved ones laid to rest at SE Portland’s iconic memorial mausoleum called the ground’s conditions “disrespectful” after visiting during the Memorial Day weekend.

Jo (left) and her husband Al (right) called the conditions of some parts of the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland "disrespectful" to their loved ones laid to rest there, May 28, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Jo (left) and her husband Al (right) called the conditions of some parts of the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland “disrespectful” to their loved ones laid to rest there, May 28, 2014. (KOIN 6)

When Jo and her husband Al went to the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum on Memorial Day to honor Al’s grandparents, the couple said they encountered extensive water damage and decay.

“It makes me terribly depressed – nothing uplifting at all,” said Al.

Furthermore, the elderly couple said they tried to place flowers on their loved ones’ crypt, but it was too high to reach. With no pole around to reach the vase, they left the flowers on a stranger’s grave.

“That doesn’t seem that long ago to us to have deteriorated so much, especially something supposed to be perpetually endowed,” said Jo.

David Schroeder, the owner of the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum, admitted there are some areas that are in fact damaged and eyesores to families trying to pay respects to loved ones.

“We knew we had a lot of challenges ahead,” said Schroeder.

These photos taken by Jo and Al on Memorial Day show water damage and boarded up windows inside the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland. (Photos courtesy of Jo and Al)
These photos taken by Jo and Al on Memorial Day show water damage and boarded up windows inside the Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum in SE Portland. (Photos courtesy of Jo and Al)

When he took over the mausoleum in 2008, Schroeder says the place was in even more disrepair. He blames the former owners, a company in Houston, for the neglect.

“Even though we have a large endowment fund, it doesn’t generate enough income to maintain the building,” said Schroeder.

In six years, Schroeder said there has been $250,000 worth of restoration improvements with another $150,000 on the way. The continued restoration is expected to take place over the next three to five years.

Jo and Al said it’s a good start, but the mausoleum has a long ways to go.

“Someone who redid them did a beautiful job. Unfortunately, water damage coming through,” said Jo.

Management said more than 3,000 people visited the mausoleum during the Memorial Day Weekend, adding most comments from visitors were positive.

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