Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens faces involuntary bankruptcy

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Involuntary bankruptcy proceedings are underway for Eternal Hills and Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Klamath Falls.

Eternal Hills lost their license to operate in 2016 following multiple complaints.

Carolyn Wade of the Oregon Department of Justice says the state filed involuntary bankruptcy against the company in September. “The actual cemetery is owned by several entities, owned by Bob Gordon.”

A crowd of about 65 people met with state officials Monday evening to discuss their legal options for filing claims.

“If somebody here doesn’t prosecute this man, shame on you,” testified Don Dotson. “And if you let me know where he’s at, I’ll take him fishing.”

Many in the crowd were unaware that principal shareholder Robert Gordon was in the audience.

Gordon declined our request for comment.

Brenda Duffy is one of several who had questions for the panel. “They dug my Dad’s grave up when we were not available, and now his body’s gone – so now I’m wondering if you could, if there’s anybody that could help get an answer to that.”

Those accusing breach of contract were encouraged to file claims against Eternal Hills.

“You’re going to pay extra for getting buried,” said Robert Baker. “And, file a claim.  If you don’t think it’s worth it – it’s going to help you.”

Robert Gordon testified before a bankruptcy trustee at a meeting of creditors Tuesday morning at the Klamath County Courthouse.

While the meeting was open to the public, video cameras were not allowed.

While Gordon admitted no wrongdoing, he did acknowledge that he had: “Not overseen (operations) as tightly as he should.”

Eternal Hills is currently held by the bankruptcy trustee, until ownership can be transferred to a licensed responsible party.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful. 

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.

When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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