Widow Sues Funeral Home Over Husband's Other Widow

It's all explained in a strange federal lawsuit against a Baltimore funeral home
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2021 10:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2021 1:45 PM CDT
He Left Behind Two Widows and One Big Lawsuit
Stock image.   (Getty/Brothers_Art)

A Baltimore Sun report on a strange federal lawsuit begins with a doozy of a first sentence: "Demetra Street didn't know, as she sang at her husband Ivan's Baltimore funeral service in late January, that apparently he already had been buried days earlier and miles away," writes Phil Davis. The unpacking of the tale: When 67-year-old Ivan Street died in January of congestive heart failure, wife Demetra Street made plans to have him cremated through Wylie Funeral Homes. Then a second woman, also claiming to be his wife, came forward and asked the funeral home to bury Ivan Street instead. The funeral home, according to Demetra Street's lawsuit, sort of did both. She alleges that Wylie had Ivan Street buried in a local cemetery, then staged a phony memorial service for her with an empty urn. She's seeking $8.5 million in the suit.

"We vehemently deny the claims advanced by Ms. Street and assert that the underlying matter was handled with the utmost sensitivity toward the loved ones of the deceased," says Brandon Wylie, president of the funeral home. The Washington Post weighs in and concludes that Demetra Street was indeed Ivan Street's legal wife at the time of his death. However, they were separated and living apart. It couldn't determine the legal relationship of Ivan Street and the unnamed woman. Demetra Street's lawsuit says the second woman presented the funeral home with a marriage license from 1997, but one that wasn't official. She "may have believed she was the wife," says Demetra Street's lawyer, "but she failed to produce a marriage certificate with a seal on it." (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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