Widow upset after coffin mix-up sees man buried by wrong family

Ash Cant
·2-min read

Two Sydney families at the centre of a devastating funeral home mix-up have been left “traumatised”.

Despina Nicolopoulos thought she was farewelling her husband of 57 years, Angelos, on Friday.

It wasn't until Ms Nicolopoulos's daughter went to go pay her respects that she realised the man in the coffin was not her father.

Ms Nicolopoulos told 7News it was a “terrible thing to happen" and she later found out her husband was actually buried hours earlier.

Despina Nicolopoulos (pictured) cries as she tells cameras about the funeral home mix-up in Sydney.
Despina Nicolopoulos's husband was buried during the wrong service when two coffins got mixed up. Source: 7News

The two deceased individuals had funerals at different churches in Sydney's west.

The other family was unaware they had buried Ms Nicolopoulos's husband whose body has since been exhumed.

Euro Funeral Services Principal Spiro Haralambous addressed the devastating mix-up on 2GB radio on Wednesday morning.

"If I could turn time back to prevent this trauma, naturally, I would," he told host Ben Fordham.

"I'm extremely apologetic for what has been inflicted on them. I'm so sorry.

"I wouldn't want this to happen to me. It was an error, amongst the many thousands of funerals we've done this was an error, and unfortunately this family... they are traumatised due to us."

Mr Haralambous explained the two men had both died on the same day and were in identical coffins, and staff put the wrong lids, which have nameplates on them, on the wrong casket.

Spiro Haralambous, from Euro Funeral Services, appeared on 2GB to speak about the mix-up.
Euro Funeral Services principal Spiro Haralambous apologised on 2GB after the mix-up. Source: 2GB

"I suppose you could say, not picking up on that in the morning before we left our funeral home, we are guilty as charged at the end of the day," Mr Haralambous said.

Going forward, Mr Haralambous said two staff members at his funeral home would be checking coffins to ensure this did not happen again.

Mr Haralambous had an "extremely difficult" conversation with the families, but told 2GB it was important he was transparent about what happened.

The Nicolopoulos family and the other family involved have received a refund.

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