Resting in Peace


By Tyler R. Deitsch - For The Lima News



Using a hand drill, Larry Walters, of Graveyard Groomer in Indiana, cleans and repairs older gravestones at St. Matthews Cemetery in Lima.

Using a hand drill, Larry Walters, of Graveyard Groomer in Indiana, cleans and repairs older gravestones at St. Matthews Cemetery in Lima.


Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

Leonard Jacobs, an employee for Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, places two endowment Christmas wreaths on the Colvin family plot. Ideally, your loved one has planned and found a place that is well taken care of or might include some agreement for maintenance of their memorial.

Leonard Jacobs, an employee for Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, places two endowment Christmas wreaths on the Colvin family plot. Ideally, your loved one has planned and found a place that is well taken care of or might include some agreement for maintenance of their memorial.


Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

Planning a funeral is typically the last thing on people’s minds. Unfortunately, this may cause financial strain, heartache, and headache later. According to a 2019 National Funeral Directors Association survey, an average funeral in Ohio can cost around $7,800, which may be on the low end. That is a substantial amount for anyone, and one might think that is all-encompassing. However, what happens afterward?

Deathcare can be incredibly complicated. There is still a taboo on discussing what one wants to happen after he or she dies in our culture. Families often must make these choices when the inevitable happens, without clear wishes from the deceased. Steered toward unnecessary extras that cost more, people do not have the time and emotional ability to explore anything but the most convenient choice. Also, they may not think about what happens years after the funeral to the place of rest.

Cemeteries in Ohio can be separated into three categories: municipal, township, or private. The categories help to explain who is responsible for maintaining the grounds of the cemetery. People may not know that maintenance of the monument is, in most cases, your responsibility. Ideally, your loved one has planned and found a place that is well taken care of or might include some agreement for maintenance of their memorial. That is not always the case, and families might find their loved ones’ sites in disrepair or overgrown. What recourse is available to families in that case?

The first thing one should do is try to work with the management of the cemetery. If it is a private cemetery, this may be as simple as going to an office or calling someone to see what can fix the problem. Depending on how old the cemetery is, or as is often the case in rural areas, it belongs to the township. Township cemetery maintenance must be budgeted for, so if significant repair is needed, propose a levy. If no one is willing to work with you at the township level, you may have to escalate it to the Ohio Department of Commerce, which oversees cemeteries.

What can you do to improve the resting spot of your loved ones? Or to save a neglected cemetery? Work with the township and the local historical society to get approval to update or repair headstones that have gotten covered with fauna or fallen. A historical society may have resources on how to properly clean a headstone without damaging it. Get your community involved with it and create a day that celebrates area history and remembers those who have died. Collaborate with local organizations such as 4-H, Boy Scouts of America, or Girl Scouts. Including younger generations ensures that you can pass on an important legacy.

Using a hand drill, Larry Walters, of Graveyard Groomer in Indiana, cleans and repairs older gravestones at St. Matthews Cemetery in Lima.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Rock-of-Ages_01co.jpgUsing a hand drill, Larry Walters, of Graveyard Groomer in Indiana, cleans and repairs older gravestones at St. Matthews Cemetery in Lima. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News
Leonard Jacobs, an employee for Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, places two endowment Christmas wreaths on the Colvin family plot. Ideally, your loved one has planned and found a place that is well taken care of or might include some agreement for maintenance of their memorial.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Endowment-wreaths_01co.jpgLeonard Jacobs, an employee for Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, places two endowment Christmas wreaths on the Colvin family plot. Ideally, your loved one has planned and found a place that is well taken care of or might include some agreement for maintenance of their memorial. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

By Tyler R. Deitsch

For The Lima News

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