Roselawn Cemetery is here to help make tough times a little easier


The Paul Grunland sculpture, "Cube Column Resurrection."

Once completed, this eight-acre development will have a pond and a connecting stream, waterfalls and pedestrian bridge.

After more than four decades, Larry Hudella is preparing to retire as superintendent of Roselawn Cemetery. He worked his way up from the grounds crew to superintendent, and has been instrumental in making the cemetery into what it is today.

After four decades, ‘Cemetery Larry’ prepares to say goodbye

 

The work of a cemetery is about much more than the practical considerations that come after loss. It's about creating spaces for families to come together and for individuals to visit in solace. 

The staff at Roselawn Cemetery, a non-denominational resting place, is here to help make memorializing a loved one a little easier during difficult times.

Larry Hudella, who has worked at Roselawn for more than 40 years and currently serves as its superintendent, says the cemetery has taken the time to invest in its future and make sure it offers a wide range of options for memorialization.

These options range from green burials, which involve no embalming and can use a biodegradable casket, to a variety of cremation options. 

"You can never have enough choices for the families, and we like to have the different price ranges," says Hudella.

Hudella and office manager Michele Lind have noticed many people whose loved ones were cremated years ago finding themselves seeking a place to memorialize them now. This is often for the sake of the family and their descendants. 

Often, some ashes will be scattered in a place selected by the loved one and the rest will be memorialized, allowing everyone touched by a person's life to have a place to honor and visit them. 

"It helps if we have every option," Hudella says. "It gives peace of mind."

One such option is the "Orchard View" columbarium, a round structure surrounded by a circular bench with apple trees planted around it. 

The cemetery's 160 acres of land are still being developed to create more burial options. Work is underway on an eight-acre section that will have a pond and a 200-foot meandering stream with waterfalls. The project is one of the largest in the history of the cemetery, with a mission to provide as many memorial options as possible.

"This is going to be an asset to all of the people who have property here," Hudella says, adding the first phase is expected to be done this fall.

 

Part of the community

This spring, Hudella will be moving on to the next chapter of his life: retirement. 

He started off on the Roselawn grounds crew, working part time before making an offer to do maintenance work. He climbed his way up to assistant superintendent before taking over the top role in 1990. During his time at Roselawn, Hudella says his goal always was to do what he could to help families.

"My whole job is to help families through this and walk them through the process," he says. "We need to be there for all of them."

While Hudella prepares to hand over the torch, the mission of Roselawn will remain the same — to create lasting memories for all who come to them, as well as giving the best possible experience to grieving families.   

Says Hudella, "Roselawn is here to be of service to the community."

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