Southeast Iowa man opts for melon grave memorial

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — At age 79, a southeast Iowa man says he’s nearing the end of his life and wanted a unique grave memorial.

On Thursday in Fruitland, John Hoopes watched as workers installed what certainly is the cemetery’s only marker topped by granite appearing to be a giant slice of watermelon.

Hoopes sold watermelon for decades at Hoopes Melon Shed in Fruitland, south of Muscatine. He told the Muscatine Journal ( he wanted a memorial that reminded him of the family business his great-grandfather began nearly 140 years ago.

Hoopes says he liked the 4,561-pound monument the moment a memorial company suggested the design.

It includes a painted green rind and natural marbling that looks like seeds.

His wife Mary Beth, who is listed on the memorial, calls it “classy, not hokey.”


Information from: Muscatine Journal,

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