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Dead Man's Telephone Bill

Thursday, March 13, 2003 � Associated Press

AUBURN, Mass.  � A man's phone bill has followed him to his grave.

A local cemetery received a phone bill last week for David Towles at his correct address -- Hillside Cemetery, Evergreen Section, Auburn, Mass. 01501.

Towles was buried there in December 1997. He died at age 60.

Cemetery Superintendent Wayne Bloomquist says he was surprised to see the Sprint bill for 12 cents, including 10 cents for a call placed on Feb. 16, five years after Towles died.

"Our clients here don't usually get mail," he said. "I wondered if maybe we should start putting mailboxes on the monuments."

A call to Sprint's automated service on March 6 showed that charges on the unpaid account had inflated Towles' bill to $3.95.

The bill was turned over to interim Town Clerk Ellen Gaboury, who said she would hold on to it for a while.

"I'll have to," she said. "Mr. Towles' credit could be affected if it remains unpaid."