BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A Bountiful mother is determined to giver her son a proper memorial at his California grave site nearly a decade after his death by fundraising to pay off funeral costs.
Lupe McCormick said her son, Anthony Santos, Jr., was murdered while trying to break up a fight between friends on Nov. 2, 2003.
McCormick buried Anthony at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California and said the funeral costs totaled $14,000.
“Ever since I’ve been struggling,” McCormick said. “I’ve been doing whatever I can to come up with this money.”
McCormick has slowly made payments over the years to the cemetery and headstone company after paying off the mortuary. However, she said the cemetery and headstone company won’t allow her to place the headstone on Anthony’s grave until the final bills are paid off.
McCormick said she owes $399 to the headstone company, American Monumental, and $561 to the cemetery.
“From $14,000 to where I’m at right now, it’s like running a marathon,” she said. “I’m at that last mile. It’s dreadful, but I know the finish line is real close.”
McCormick and her family’s latest fundraiser was at the Costco parking lot in Bountiful on Sunday afternoon.
She was helped by Anthony’s two brothers and his only son. Anthony Santos, III never met his father. He was born two months after his dad was murdered.
McCormick said placing Anthony’s headstone on his grave will give her closure to his death.
“The headstone is going to be confirmation for me because some days I just know he’s coming home,” she said.
McCormick said Anthony was a die hard San Francisco 49’s fan and she has received help from a Utah group who also cheer on the NFL team. She said despite her financial struggle, she feels blessed to see the kindness in peoples’ hearts.
“I just want to thank everyone that has already supported me,” she added. “I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.”
If you’d like to help donate to the McCormick family, contact Lupe McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org.