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I 4D 13315227
Ms. Nancy James passed away on June 20,2011 at home approximately 4:30 AM. The Bell Funeral Home, Inc. was contacted by Ms. Tarayana James, who is Ms. Nancy James only surviving child and her legal next of kin, to pick up Ms. Nancy James. On June 20, 2011 at approximately 5:30 AM, Ms. Nancy James was picked up from her house and transferred to the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. She was placed on the embalming table located in an air-conditioned prep-room. Ms. Nancy James could not fit into the cooler/refrigerator because of her size. Ms. Nancy James was a very large woman, approximately 300+ pounds. Weight on her license states 260 lbs. (Enclosed is a copy of her driver's license for proof of her weight.) At the time when Ms. Nancy James was picked up from her house, she had already had signs of decomposition and blood settling. Her skin was white with light discoloration. Decomposition starts immediately after a person passes away. Ms. Tatayana James came into my office on June 20,2011 to make funeral arrangements for her mother, Ms. Nancy James. Ms. Tatayana James provided a copy of her mother's social security card, birth certificate and licenses. Ms. Tatayana James also provided me with the name of an insurance company and policy number for Ms. Nancy James. Ms. Tatayana James did not bring the actual policy. T called the insurance company to verify the policy insured name, beneficiary name and address, if the policy is assignable, and will the policy cover the cost of the funeral expense. The Death Claims Dept. representative informed Ms. Tatayana James and I that the beneficiary was her deceased brother, Keith puff, who passed away in May, 2003 in another state. The representative informed us that the policy was contestable and would not guarantee payment for the funeral expense. The representative also informed us that Ms. Tatayana James was not listed on the insurance policy as a contingency beneficiary. Ms. Tatayana James could hear everything the representative was saying because I placed the call with her present and placed the phone on speaker so she could hear the representative explain the problems of the insurance policy, and at that time she had the opportunity to ask the representative any questions directly. At this point, I informed Ms. Tatayana James that she could go to Dept. of Human Services and apply for funeral service assistance. Ms. Tatayana James chose to do a direct cremation ($1050.00) and a memorial service, which I discounted for her. (A memorial service is listed at $ 690.00 on the general price list.) I only charged her $300.00. Ms. Tatayana James also selected 100 prayer cards which she was charged $95.00 and a blue marble urn with white engraving, "In Loving Memory", her mother'S name, date of birth, date of death and praying hands, and one (1) death certificate which I gave her free of charge. The death certificate was purchased by the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. at the Providence City Hall for $20.00. The Bell Funeral Home, Inc. also placed an obituary on the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. website (bellfuneralhome.net) free of charge which was written for her from the information she provided. An obituary was not placed in the Providence Journal and she was not charged. Six hundred and forty-five doI1ars ($ 645.00) is the total of funeral service and funeral goods Ms. Tatayana James selected. Ms. James was only charged for the funeral service and goods she selected. At this time, Ms. Nancy
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James was moved from the air-conditioned prep-room table to an oversized wood bottom and cardboard top cremation container which was placed on a movable church truck. Ms. Nancy James stayed in the air-conditioned prep-room until she was rolled into the transport car to go to the crematory. Because of her size, Ms. Nancy James was not able to fit in the refrigerator/cooler, so she was left in an air-conditioned room until she went to the crematory. Ms. Nancy James was able and ready to go to the crematory on June 23,2011 at 9:00 AM. (Ms. Nancy James could not go to the crematory before June 23, 2011 since there was a hold up because no doctor wanted to sign the burial permit; waiting on the ~edical examiner to sign cremation order; and waiting for the approval from the Dept. of Human Services to pay $1050.00 towards Ms. Nancy James Cremation Funeral Service Expense. I was contacted by Mr. Thomas R. Sparks on June 21, 2011, by telephone, asking if the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. had his sister's body and other questions about her funeral service. I answered yes, I did have Ms. Nancy James at the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. and her services are incomplete as of today. I also told him that I could not answer any other questions because everything was confidential. It was against Bell Funeral Home, Inc.'s Policy of Client Confidentiality, and he could call Ms. Nancy James' daughter because she was in charge of the funeral arrangements since she was her only surviving child and legal next of kin. He stated he was unable to reach Ms. Tatayana James and asked if I could give her his number and have her give him a call. I gave Ms. James the message and number. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks never mentioned embalming, viewing or assuming financial responsibility for his sister's body. He had no knowledge of what type funeral arrangements were made for his sister nor been in contact to talk to his "adopted" niece. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks called on June 22nd requesting to see his sister, Ms. Nancy James. He stated he and his brother from Turner, Maine had not seen their sister in a long time. I told him he had to have Ms. Tatayana James call me to get her permission. On June 22, 2011, Ms. Tatayana James called the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. and said it was all right with her ifher uncles wanted to view her mother's body. I called Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and told him I had the approval from Ms. Tatayana James. I asked ifhe and his brothers could come in that day, June 22,2011 because Ms. Nancy James was not dressed or embalmed, was in a cremation container and was scheduled to go to the crematory tomorrow morning which was June 23,2011 at 9:00 AM. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks told me he could not come today which was June 22,201 because he was coming from Maine. I stated to him if he left Turner, Maine now, he would arrive in Providence, Rhode Island in 3 hours and 42 minutes with traffic according to my GPS. I also stated that ifhe did not arrive in Providence before Bell Funeral Home closed, I would wait for him. I also explained the urgency of him and his brothers arriving in Providence, RI on June 22,2011 because his sister was not embalmed and she had been dead since June 20,2011. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks refused to come June 22,2011 and made a reluctant appointment for June 23, 2011 for viewing at 4:00 PM. Ms. Nancy James' cremation was
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3 held up 7 hours by her two brothers who refused to come on June 22,2011. Ms. Nancy James could not be viewed in our air-conditioned prep-room out of respect for the other deceased body nor in our chapels because of a funeral service was taking place. So for convenience, Ms. Nancy James was rolled into the garage at 3:30 PM on June 23,2011 for viewing at 4:00 PM so she could be placed directly into the transport car immediately after viewing and taken to the crematory. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks called the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. at 3:40 PM and said he was unable to come today because his brother was sick and he and his brother will come tomorrow, June 24, 2011 at 3:00 PM. Once again I expressed the urgency of them, him and his brother, to come at their selected appointment because Ms. Nancy James was not dressed, not embalmed and died on June 20,2011. Ms. Nancy James was rolled back into Bell Funeral Home, Inc.'s air-conditioned pre-room where she stayed until June 24, 2011. (Ms. James' cremation was delayed 31 hours, almost 2 days, by her two brothers not keeping their selected scheduled appoinrment.) Mr. Sparks called on June 24,2011 and asked questions about embalming. He never said he wanted his sister embalmed and he would have needed Ms. Tatayana James' approval, being that she was Ms. Nancy James' only surviving child and legal next of kin. Ms. Nancy James was rolled back out into the garage at 2:00 PM for the 3:00 PM viewing on June 24,2011. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his brother arrived at the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. on June 24th at 3:30 PM to view Ms. Nancy James. Once again I explained she was not dressed, embalmed and had died on June 20,2011. (I always express to the families that it is not a good idea to view their loved one, a deceased body, not embalmed, not casketed and not dressed.) I walked Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers into the garage. I lifted the cardboard box cover and they all viewed their sister, Ms. Nancy James. They viewed their sister for approximately 1 minute. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks claimed to have seen many things during tha t short period of time. I closed the cardboard box top down on the cremation container, and I walked all 3 brothers out of the garage to their car. I thanked them for coming and told them to have a safe ride home.
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Lies and Exaggerations
l. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks did not call the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. on June 20, 201 and say,
and I quote, "My brother and I asked them to do whatever necessary so that we could view our sister". •
Mr. Thomas Mr. Thomas cremated on Mr. Thomas
R. Sparks called on June 22, 2011 requesting to see his sister. R. Sparks refused to view his sister on June 22, 2011 so she could be June 23,2011 at 9:00 AM. R. Sparks cancelled his appointment on June 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM.
Mr. Thomas R. Sparks arrived on June 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM to view his sister, Ms. Nancy James.
2. Every deceased body has a case number assigned to their folder. Every folder is confidential, and only the informant/legal next of kin can call or come in person and get funeral service information. • • • On June 20, 2011, Mr. Thomas R. Sparks was never and I quote, "informed that there was some sort of problem with the insurance." Mr. Thomas R. Sparks never said to the secretary and to, money is no object."
"Do what you need
Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers had the opportunity to come in with Ms. Tatayana James on June 20, 2011 to make funeral service arrangements for their sister, Ms. Nancy James. They could have selected and paid for all funeral service expenses of their choice.
3. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks did not get told by the secretary and I quote, "the funeral director was out picking up another client." Anytime anyone calls the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. and the funeral director is unavailable, they are told "the funeral director is unavailable at this time and I will be glad to take a message." 4. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks stated and I quote, "Hundreds showed up for her memorial service." "Hundreds" of people did not show up for Ms. Nancy James memorial service. People did show up for her service but not "hundreds". 5. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers were not and I quote, "We were ushered into a small office to sign some papers." Ms. Nancy James' folder has all of her paperwork signed by her daughter, Ms. Tatayana James, her only surviving child and legal next of kin. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks or his two brothers did not sign any paperwork provided by the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. (Enclosed are copies of all documents in her folder) 6. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks stated and I quote, "asked what we owed at this point." Mr. Thomas R. Sparks was asked by his niece to pay $95.00 for prayer cards that she ordered
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on June 24,2011. He paid with a family Auto Sales & Service business check. (Enclosed is a copy of the check and a copy of the prayer card) 7. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks was never told that, and I quote, "the state would be paying the $1200.00 for cremation." Ms. Tatayana James was told that the state would pay $1050.00 toward Ms. Nancy James Direct Cremation Expense. I also told her I would do a direct cremation for the $1050.00, the state would pay me sometime in the future, and she would not have to pay for any of the cash advances, such as $30.00 medical examiner certificate permit fee, $20.00 death certificate fee. and $200.00 crematory fee. I tried to help her anyway I could so that she did not have to pay for anything. With Ms. James permission, the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. placed an obituary, free of charge, which we wrote from the information provided by Ms. Tatayana James on the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. website and Bell Funeral Home, Inc. Facebook Memorial Page. (Enclosed documents of proof of services and charges) Ms. Tatayana James was also charged $300.00 for use of the Bell Funeral Home, Inc.'s facility and staff for the memorial service. (The use of the facility and staff for a memorial service is $690.00. I deducted $390.00 from her funeral service expenses.) Ms. Tatayana James total funeral service expense was $645.00 which I allowed her to . make payments on, and gave her a break on the funeral expense. 8. The insurance policy was contestable so the insurance company would not cover the funeral service expense because Ms. Tatayana James was not the beneficiary. Ms. Nancy James' deceased son, Mr. Keith Duff, who passed away in 2003 in another state, was the beneficiary. The Death Claim representative verified the policy information witnessed by Ms. Tatayana James. Ms. James was not listed in the computer system as a contingency beneficiary. (No policy was provided) 9. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks stated and I quote, "Why is this woman here? • In a garage?"
Ms. Nancy James was rolled into the garage from the air-conditioned prep-room for convenience on June 23, 2011 for her viewing so she could be placed into the transportation vehicle immediately following and driven to the crematory. (Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers cancelled their selected appointment.) Ms. Nancy James was rolled into the garage from the air-conditioned prep-room for convenience on June 24, 2011 for her viewing so she could be placed into the transportation vehicle immediately following and driven to the crematory. Ms. Nancy James could not be viewed in the air-conditioned prep-room out of respect for the other deceased in the air-conditioned prep-room. Ms. Nancy James could not be viewed in the funeral home chapels because of the funeral services taking place.
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6 10. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks was never told and I quote, "there would be some bloating" to Ms. Nancy James' body. Ms. Nancy James weight was 260 lbs indicated on her I driver's license. She was a heavy-set, large woman. Ms. Nancy James looked approximately 300+ pounds. She was not bloated from being dead. She was 300+ pounds. 11. The female mortician did not ask Mr. Thomas R. Sparks or any of the two brothers to lift open the box, and I quote, "She asked me to lift the head of the box while she tried to lift open the foot of the box." The female mortician lifted open the head end of the box and Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers viewed their sister for approximately 1 minute; then, the female mortician closed the box and walked Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers to their car. The cardboard top cover of the cremation container is light weight and can be lifted with one hand. 12. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks' description of Ms. Nancy James is exaggerated, fabricated and
Ms. Nancy James died on June 20,2011 at approximately 4:30 AM and was not embalmed but kept in an air-conditioned embalming prep-room until she was transferred to the crematory. Ms. Nancy James had discoloration from settling of her blood and no embalming. Her face was nor "swollen and melted." Her eyes were not "swollen or black as coal." Her eyes were shut closed! No one could see the color of her eyes. There were no bugs in the corner of her eyes. Once again, Ms. Nancy James eyes were closed shut and no one could see the comers of her eyes. Ms. Nancy James' hair was black and grays (the same color when she was alive). Her hair was not "stuck to the sides and bottom of the box". Noone could see under her head to determine if her hair was stuck under her head. Ms. Nancy James' head was never lifted. Her head was Not and I quote, "flat up against the box." She was not "black from her head to her breast". There were no marks on her chest". According to his statement and I quote, "there was a "mark on her chest where her hands had originally laid, as she bloated, you could see that her left hand was moving as she decomposed forcing her hand into a straight, up and down position". Ms. Nancy James' "hand" did not "move". Ms. Nancy James was placed in an oversized wood base cremation container with her hands straight by her side covered by a cardboard top. Her hands placed straight by her side, does not indicate that Ms. Nancy James was not reaching out saying "help me".
Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers saw many of unusual things during a 1 minute viewing. I never left the Sparks family side during the viewing. The description of Ms. Nancy James is a lie.
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7 Mr. Thomas R. Sparks never requested embalming by telephone. Mr. Thomas R. Sparks is not Ms. Nancy James legal next ofkin. Ms. Nancy James was too large and heavy to be, and I quote, "thrown into the box." She was lying on her back with both arms by her sides in a wood base cremation container with a cardboard cover.
Mr. Thomas R. Sparks' brother, Donny, did not physically pass out. He stated and I quote, "Donny physically passed out and Kenny cried out 'Oh my God'." If Donny would have passed out, an ambulance would have been called to the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. "911." Kenny did NOT cry out "Db my God." Ms. Nancy James "young adopted daughter", Ms. Tatayana James, who is over 18 years old and is Ms. Nancy James' legal next of kin, chose direct cremation for her mother. Direct cremation is when the deceased is picked up from his/her place of death, brought to the Bell Funeral Home, Inc., placed in a cremation container and brought to the crematory when all the paperwork is completed. Every deceased person and surviving family members who are serviced by the Bell Funeral Home, Inc. are treated with dignity and respect. The Bell Funeral Home, Inc. gladly helped Ms. Tatayana James anyway we could. I was compassionate to her limited financial ability, and felt empathy for her since she had to grieve her mother's death alone. Neither Mr. Thomas R. Sparks nor his two brothers came with Ms. Tatayana James to assist, support or comfort her during her time of need. Neither Mr. Thomas R. Sparks nor his two brothers participated or attended the funeral arrangements. Neither Mr. Thomas R. Sparks, his two brothers nor anyone else offered to pay any of the funeral expenses. The only time Mr. Thomas R. Sparks and his two brothers came to the Bell funeral Home, Inc. was to view on June 24,2011 and for Ms. Nancy James' memorial
Ms. Tatayana James did a great job planning her mother's funeral services. selected a funeral service and goods she wanted and could afford. She
Mr. Thomas R. Sparks' letter, statements and allegations are completely false and cruel. His story is exaggerated, a fabrication, defamation of character and slander. This horrible story is disrespectful to his sister, Nancy James, and his and I quote, "adopted niece", Tatayana James.
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8 Enclosed is a copy of Ms. Nancy James' folder which is a confidential file used only for the purpose of proof to support my statement and response to the letter written and sent to the Dept. of Health from Mr. Thomas R. Sparks.
Thank you for your time, Christine M. Cardoza Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer