Flowers stolen from grave

Published 10:57 pm Monday, April 25, 2011

John R. Babb Jr., with his sons Bishop, left, and Avery behind him, visits the grave of his father, who died last week. The flowers were stolen off his father’s grave over the weekend.

John R. Babb Sr. loved the Washington Redskins, and it was evident at his funeral last week.

The 78-year-old was buried in a Redskins cap, and his family purchased a flower arrangement from Pinner’s Flower Shop that featured Easter lilies in the shape of the Redskins logo and helmet.

He was buried on Good Friday in Holly Lawn Cemetery. By the time his family checked on the grave on Easter Sunday, the flowers had been stolen.

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Babb’s son, John Babb Jr., was horrified.

“It was the most cold-hearted thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Babb said. “It’s not so much that they were Redskins flowers. They took flowers from a dead man.”

Babb checked with other family members and the funeral home. Nobody else had taken them, he said.

John Babb Sr. was a Korean War veteran, fan of the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. and a member of the Local 540 union.

“He believed in his country,” Babb said. “He always wore a little American flag pin.”

Babb said his father was buried in his American flag pin, as well as an Earnhardt shirt.

His father was the most generous person he’d ever known, Babb said.

“If somebody said, ‘Can I have your flowers,’ he would have given them away,” Babb said. “But somebody took them before the grass even grew on his grave.”

Babb said the staff at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home, where his father’s services were held, said the theft of flowers from graves happens on occasion. Sometimes, the flowers are taken by people who weren’t able to purchase flowers for a loved one’s grave.

Babb hopes somebody will spot the flowers somewhere and report them, or return them to his father’s grave.

“I hate it for my father,” Babb said. “He’s the biggest Redskins fan that ever was.”