'F--- off': Hidden message on father's headstone raises concerns
POLK COUNTY, Iowa. (KCCI/CNN Newsource) - Some people love to get the last laugh, even in death.
One tombstone in Iowa is causing a bit of a ruckus because of a message hidden in plain sight that some people might find offensive.
Many have found their final resting place in the Warren-Powers Cemetery in Polk County. Each tombstone reads something different, some even with hidden messages like the one for Steven Paul Owens.
His reads: "Forever in our hearts, until we meet again, cherished memories known as our brother, father, papa, uncle, friend and cousin."
If you look a little bit closer, you'll notice that the first letter of each phrase reads "F--- off." It's a phrase Owens' family members share he often said jokingly.
"It was definitely his term of endearment. If he didn't like you, he didn't speak to you. It's just who he was," his daughter, Lindsay, said.
"He's easily riled up. It was always a goal of some sort to him to tell you to do this," said his son Zachary.
It's something his family did as a harmless way to remember him, and it has been called into question by the cemetery. Staff say they've been against the headstone from the beginning and the profanity has no place where loved ones are laid to rest.
Now the family is hoping they don't have to get rid of the headstone.
While some may find it offensive, the family says it wasn't their intention and they hope others can find humor in it.
"No one's forcing anyone to come out and look at it," Zachary Owens said. "That's a choice that you make. We didn't do it to offend anyone, make anyone mad or hurt anyone's feelings. We did it because it was our father and we love him and that's the way that we remember him."