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Elmwood Cemetery looking at potential rate increases

This news story was published on January 18, 2014.
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Elmwood Cemetery at South Federal entrance.

Elmwood Cemetery at South Federal entrance.

MASON CITY – At a recent Elmwood Cemetery board meeting, a rate increase was proposed.

According to Cemetery Manager Randy Opheim, he has learned that another local cemetery had increased its prices for services a few months ago.

“I asked the Cemetery Board if they would consider an increase in Elmwood’s rates,” Mr. Opheim told

At the January 9, 2014 meeting, the rates hike proposal was to be discussed, but the item was tabled until the next meeting.

Randy Opheim, director

Randy Opheim, director

“It was a busy meeting with introducing our newly hired groundsman Kent Sauve and presenting Todd Ristau an award for his exceptional work during the vacancy in the groundsman position until it could be filled,” Mr. Opheim said. “These and the other agenda items kept the board from fully discussing this item.”

Current Elmwood Cemetery rates:

Weekdays $ 665
Saturdays $ 840

Weekdays $ 450
Saturdays $ 575

Weekdays $ 350
Saturdays $ 525

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4 Responses to Elmwood Cemetery looking at potential rate increases

  1. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    January 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Cemeteries are unsustainable. Eventually, like they do in many small European countries, they will bury them for a period of several years, then dig them up, gather the bones, and either cremate them or place the bones in a box and put them in an above ground mausoleum holding hundreds of others. Land will one day run out. It may not happen for another thousand years, but it will happen eventually.

    I personally think the bones of relatives should become property of the next of kin, and if a person wanted to keep them in their home close to them, they should be able to. The business of cemeteries is just that: a business….with boo koo [sic] money to be made.

    Why should my dead family member whom I love be buried 6 feet under in a rock hard frozen impersonal, public cemetery when they could be resting in a box above my fireplace or even set up as a laboratory skeleton?

    You may find this morbid, but I say it’s about control, and taking control away from impersonal entities. You know it wasn’t too long ago, when caskets were placed in the home for a period of time while the funeral was going on.

    If your son or daughter died, wouldn’t you feel like you have the right to their bones? I do. It’s your flesh and blood…not the State’s, and certainly not the business entity known as Elmwood Cemetery.

    • John Reply Report comment

      January 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      And during the election, you stated you wanted to hang your child’s bones in front of your moms house, yes I think that is morbid.

      • Philosophus Reply Report comment

        January 18, 2014 at 9:09 pm

        And you don’t find it the least bit controlling how the State assumes you are going to automatically relinquish the remains of what is yours, created by you, to some strange barren piece of cold dark earth?

    • Rahmbo Reply Report comment

      January 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Not running out of land around here. We’re running out people.

      Cerro Gordo is losing population.

      From 2000 to 2010, it went from c. 48,000 to 43,000 pop., the largest loss of any county in Iowa.