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Obituaries

COVID-19: Comedian Horrified That Jewish Cousin With Prepaid NY Plot Got Catholic NJ Funeral

Elayne Boosler, right, with her cousin, Dorothea Buschell
Elayne Boosler, right, with her cousin, Dorothea Buschell Photo Credit: Facebook

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) victim Dorothea Buschell had a prepaid Jewish burial plot next to her parents and sister at a Long Island cemetery. 

Relatives were shocked to discover what Buschell apparently got instead was a pricey Catholic funeral in Central New Jersey.

Buschell, 83, died Monday, April 13 after coming down with COVID-19 at the Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bay Ridge, The City reported.

The family was never notified, and after three weeks of calling, they finally got through to the facility, comedian Elayne Boosler wrote on Facebook. Nursing home officials said Buschell had died on Wednesday, April 15, according to Boosler.

By then, Buschell had already been interred at Forest Green Park Cemetery in Morganville, Monmouth County, which charged her with a $15,000 Catholic funeral package, the media outlet reported.

Despite no one being present for the funeral, the burial included costs for $600 flowers, $34 for bridge and tunnel tolls, and a $595 limousine, as well as $95 for makeup and $400 for clothes, Boosler wrote on Facebook.

Even more baffling, there were charges for $500 for clergy and another $200 for a cross and rosary beads, she said.

“That’s right folks, they buried my Jewish cousin, who never wore makeup & never spent more than $25 on an outfit, who always tipped 20% and would have known to take Queensboro Bridge to avoid tolls, IN A CATHOLIC CEMETERY HOLDING A ROSARY, WITH A $16,000 FAKE FUNERAL THAT NEVER HAPPENED,” Boosler wrote.

Boosler had ensured in paperwork as recently as August 2018 that her cousin would be buried in Nassau County New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale.

“She had a burial plot (Jewish) next to her mother, sister & dad, which I myself reaffirmed was still in her record when I visited her August 2018,” Boosler wrote.

The pricey funeral was part of a $15,000 pre-need funeral plan, which Buschell was sold in August 2017 but never signed, The City reported.

Richard J. Brum, who represents the Allure Group -- the company that owns Hamilton Park nursing home -- declined to comment on Buschell’s situation, citing resident privacy concerns, The City reported

“Whenever a resident passes away, our policy is to immediately notify their family representative who is then responsible for making final arrangements for the deceased,” Brum said in a statement. “When family is not involved in the resident’s care, we notify the court-appointed legal guardian who then makes those arrangements.”

Kehila Chapels of Brighton Beach, which claimed Buschell’s remains, didn’t respond to request for comment, the outlet said.

"Every great punchline has a great tag," Boosler wrote. "The funeral home now wants us to pay $10,000 to transfer Dorothea to her actual plot next to her family. I told them only if we got to keep the rosary..."

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