Hidden message on dad's gravestone causes a stir at cemetery

·News Reporter
·2-min read

In a loving tribute to their ‘Papa’, one family has let their dad have the eternal last laugh.

On his tombstone reads a touching but cheeky message.

“Forever in our hearts.

Until we meet again.

Cherished memories.

Known as.

Our son, brother.

Father, Papa, Uncle.

Friend & cousin.”

But the sweet poem has been revealed to have a double meaning when read as an acrostic, whereby the first letter of each line spells out a word.

In Steve Owens’ case, it’s ‘f**k off.’

A phrase perfectly suited to his sassy yet endearing spirit that his children tried to capture on their father’s headstone in Iowa, US.

Steve Ownes' gravestone
An American man's gravestone has caused outrage among the local community for a double meaning to his touching tribute. Source: KCCI/CBS Newspath

“He was easily fired up,” his son Zachary Owens told McClatchy News, “but it was kind of a playful thing.”

He said his dad, who died at the age of 59 in September, meant no harm when he told people to ‘f**k off'.

But the fun-loving father who “didn’t care what anybody thought” has caused quite a stir in death.

While the company that made the gravestone was happy to go ahead, the managers of the cemetery took issue with the crude message from the grave.

Luckily for the Owens family, the Warren-Powers Cemetery was told that it would need a court injunction to prevent the memorial from being installed.

A move it evidently decided not to take and the tombstone was installed two weeks ago where it’s continuing to cause strife.

One person has even gone so far as to submit an anonymous complaint to a local news outlet.

Steve Owens' children in front of his grave (left) and Steve Owens (right)
Steve Owens' children say their father would have appreciated the joke as a harmless way to remember him. Source: KCCI/CBS Newspath

“It’s not anybody’s business,” Steve’s daughter Lindsay Owens told McClatchy News.

“If you don’t like it, walk away.”

Steve’s children said the issue must now be worked out between the cemetery and the company that made the headstone but hoped it wouldn’t need to be removed or changed.

“I don’t believe it really affects anyone else,” Zachary said.

“There are very few people that will come across it. And the people that know what it means, it means something to them for a reason.

“It’s meant for the family and it’s our way of honouring our father.’

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