A FAMILY has left a hidden message on their father's headstone – they know it would make him laugh but others find it offensive.
Cemeteries are a place for reflection – a place where we get to remember our loved ones and what made them special.
For the Owens family, that specialness came in the form of a now controversial tombstone.
Visit Warren-Powers Cemetery in Polk County, Iowa, and you'll notice a harmless joke on Steven Paul Owens' tombstone.
The first letter of each phrase on his headstone in the sleepy cemetery reads "f*** off".
It's a turn of phrase the Owens family said he shared often and jokingly, according to WIBW news.
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"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," Steven’s daughter Lindsay Owens told the news station.
What was meant as a harmless way to remember their dad is now being called into question by the cemetery.
Staff said they've been against the headstone from the start and say profanity has no place in the graveyard.
But the Owens are holding out hope they don't need to get rid of the now-infamous gravestone.
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"No one’s forcing anyone to come out and look at it. That’s a choice that you make. We didn’t do it to offend anyone, make anyone mad or hurt anyone’s feelings," Steven’s son Zachary Owens said.
"We did it because it was our father, and we love him, and that’s how we remember him."
The headstone reads: "Forever in our hearts/ *ntil we meet again/ *herished memories/ *nown as/ Our son, brother/ Father, papa, uncle/ Friend and cousin".
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