The new Marthaville Cemetery Committee has inherited a royal mess. A guy named Rocky Gandy was the president of the organization and there were complaints a’ plenty about how he ran the cemetery’s business.
It has been reported that someone asked him how he got to be president, and he said his Mama appointed him. I don’t know if this is true or not. Anyway, the citizens who have loved ones buried in the cemetery had enough and last October called a special meeting to, in essence, kick Gandy out and elect new officers and board members through the process specified in their bylaws.
Patty Berry Weeks was elected President and Sue Roe was elected Secretary. Board Members were Donna Dyson Horn, Randall “Fuzzy” Hennigan and Johnny Rawls, who later had to resign because of work obligations. Gandy did not attend the meeting. But there were about 50 others who did
The new Board wanted an orderly transition and needed the organization’s records. Instead of turning the records she had over to the new board, the old secretary, Wendy Allen, mailed them to Gandy who lives in Houston. According to reports, she did this knowing that the new Board needed them. Then, Gandy refused to let the Committee have the records. They need the minutes, the financial records and the cemetery plat showing the plots. After repeated attempts to get the records, the new Board has had to resort to hiring an attorney, Chris Sylvia of Many. Still no records.
So, it is probable that this week the Board will file suit against Gandy to try to obtain the records. All members of the old Board have resigned except Gandy and his mother, Glendyl Berry Gandy, who used to be employed by the Town of Many under the late Mayor Virginia Godfrey. Board members who resigned include Dale Barnhill of Many, Charles Davis and, of course, the Secretary. People who have dedicated plots in the cemetery are very concerned. Some have been marked for as long as 50 years. The new committee needs the plat.
Attorneys don’t work free, so the Cemetery Committee is having a fund raiser on April 13. The event is being headed by Dubo and Renee Rains. They will be selling barbecue chicken at the Marthaville Heritage Building from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Donna Dyson-Horn, who has done a wonderful job covering these happenings in the Natchitoches Times, summed it up best: “It is just a shame and a disgrace. The whole ordeal is just heart-breaking. We have family buried in the beloved Marthaville Cemetery, and so many families are upset about something that is so very uncalled for.” And we want to thank Donna for her help in providing us with information.
Just who is Gandy? According to a site on the internet, he is Managing Member of Post Oak Financial, LLD in Houston. It said the goal of the company is “…to broaden our client offerings to include active managed investments, by third party managers, for personal and corporate clients. Post Oak provides services for a fee for clients seeking alternative investment opportunities.”
We made repeated calls to Gandy’s office in Houston, but he did not take our calls, nor did he return them. Questions arise. First of all, why would a guy who lives in Houston want to try to run a cemetery in Marthaville? Why does he not want to turn over the records to the new committee? Does he have something to hide? Why does he want to try to stay involved with an organization that apparently doesn’t want his involvement? Why does he want to try to cause the cemetery continued problems?
Why can’t he just pick up his toys and go home?