Montevideo children prevail in war over mom’s gravestone

The weird family feud over gravestones for a woman in Montevideo has finally been settled.

It started when some of Sandra Sue Albrecht’s 11 children bought a headstone that their father, John Wendell Albrecht, 76, stole and put one he thought more appropriate in its place. His carried references from Revelations referring to the “fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

The kids sued, demanding their headstone be returned. They said their father has interfered with their ability to grieve Sandra’s death.

Now, a judge has ordered the original gravestone returned after two days of hearings that consisted of a clinic in what not to let happen to your family.

The West Central Tribune says the senior Albrecht considers himself estranged from nine of his children, refusing to refer to them by name in court testimony.

Lane Albrecht said he and his siblings are thankful the judge was able to see the spiritual abuse they suffered and “shed light on something that was dark for so long.” The justice they sought — and won — was to honor the memory of their mother, he said.

According to testimony at the trial, Albrecht prevented the nine siblings from having any contact with their mother and were not informed of her failing health. She died at home on July 24, 2016, at age 74 of cancer without having received any medical care.

Until fleeing on their own, the siblings testified that their father isolated the family on the farm he moved them to in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The children were not allowed any medical or dental check ups and carried cards stating they were not to receive medical care. Their mother had her last few pregnancies at this time, and did not receive any prenatal care during these pregnancies and had unattended births at home, the judge found.

The judge also ordered the father to pay $11,000 to each of the children who brought the suit for inflicting emotional distress.

  • MrE85

    This one hits a little too close to home.

  • OMG – I checked the calendar and confirmed that we are living in the 21st Century. How can people like this still be a thing?

    • AL287

      Because America has a very bad case of “bystander syndrome.”

      Too often we convince ourselves that someone else will step in.

      No one did in this sad case. Not even the victims took up for themselves or reported the abuse which put their health and ultimately their mother’s at risk.

      The woman’s cancer was likely treatable.

      The father is the one who needed medical treatment in the form of a psychiatric evaluation. Clearly there was mental illness in his case that went undiagnosed. I’m surprised the judge didn’t have him committed.

      • Mike

        There’s very little ordinary people can do in situations like these. Local authorities can be alerted in the case of children who are going without medical care, etc., but the man’s wife was an adult and is responsible for her own choices.

        One has to assume that she agreed with this deranged set of circumstances and was complicit in the abuse of her children.

        • chlost

          Perhaps you did not understand the “between the lines” message that the mother was also abused? Control through threats is a powerful method of abuse.

          • Mike

            Likely, but we can only speculate on the details of this awful relationship. Plenty of people, men and women both, buy into oppressive religious doctrines and the nasty ideologies that accompany them.

            From a legal perspective, she was an adult and could have left the relationship, which is more than you can say for the kids.

        • Rob

          I assume the opposite. Sounds like a psychologically abusive domestic relationship; wouldn’t be surprised to discover he was physically abusing his wife as well.

    • Veronica

      Welcome to religious (usually Christian) extremism in America. This happened and is happening right now to kids all over the US and there are people in power who want to protect the right for a (again, Christian) father to abuse his wife and kids in 2018 all under the guise of religious liberty.

      • The late Christopher Hitchens said that “religion poisons everything” in his book “God Is Not Great”. Believer or not, it’s a worthwhile read for anyone – perhaps even a must-read in today’s America.

        • jon

          or just pick up a copy of the bible… as a book it sort of speaks for itself.

          • Amen! The more you read, the more you celebrate your good fortune to not have been alive in the Bronze Age.

          • jon

            Being born in the bronze age might not have been all that bad…
            So long as you weren’t unlucky enough to be born poor or female… But then Rich and male is pretty much a winning combination throughout history. (except for the few revolutions where the wealthy were killed off. french and Bolshevik revolutions come to mind, probably the cultural revolution in china too…)

            Good luck if you were born female to a group of people with a holy book that contains instructions for selling your daughter into slavery…

  • Rob

    Too bad the mom and the kids didn’t get together early on and smother the SOB with a pillow, and then put a “fiery lake of burning sulphur” headstone on his grave.