Tammy Wynette's Daughters Push to Put Singer's Name Back on Crypt

Image: Tammy Wynette's Daughters Push to Put Singer's Name Back on Crypt Tammy Wynette,November 1986.

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 09:36 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The daughters of late country music legend Tammy Wynette are attempting a public campaign to get their mother's stage name restored on her crypt in Nashville.

Georgette Jones Lennon, Wynette's daughter with another county music legend George Jones, told The Tennessean that she was told that the name was changed to her married name, Virginia W. Richardson, temporarily for legal reasons. However, her name has not been changed back, and now they cannot reverse the decision because they don’t own the burial crypt at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

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"She worked very hard and long her whole life for that name," Lennon told The Tennessean. "That's who she believed she was. That is who she was."

George Richardson, Wynette's husband, who went by the professional name of George Richey, was given his wife's home, belongings and rights to her publishing and business enterprises after she died in 1998.

Lennon said it was Deirdre Richardson Hale, an attorney and George Richardson's daughter, who convinced them to change the name on the crypt temporarily for legal reasons during a planned challenge to the sale of the intellectual property.

The Tennessean reported it could not reach Hale for comment. Lennon said Hale owns the crypt.

This is not the first sign of family friction between Richardson and Wynette's children. Both Lennon and her other sister, Jackie Daly, have written books accusing Richardson of manipulating Wynette to perform while ill and enabling her pain killer medication addiction.

CMT.com columnist Chet Flippo wrote a scathing column about the crypt name change in 2012. 

"Strange things often happen with famous performers after they die," Flippo wrote in his column. "Mysterious new heirs and heiresses appear, new wills are miraculously discovered, previously unknown children suddenly pop up, dubious relatives come forward to announce their claims. Money makes people behave in very odd ways. . .  But dead celebrities seldom have their names changed on their tombstones after they die and are long buried."

Lennon told The Tennessean that she hopes Wynette's fans will join a Facebook page called "A Restoration" Tammy Wynette's Name and Legacy to build momentum and get her name restored.

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