Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of culture – think of the Great Pyramids, the Tomb of the Unknowns, or the Taj Mahal, for example. Psychologists say that remembrance practices serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. To remember, and to be remembered, are natural human needs. Of course, our memories are with us at all times, and in all places. Oftentimes, however, a focal point or specific location can help us grieve and honor a loved one in a more tangible way. At Sewickley Cemetery, we provide permanent resting places for the deceased and then care and maintain those honored spots, which dignifies human life and provides a safe space for friends and family to remember, grieve, and heal. Increasingly, people are finding that completing their family’s genealogical records can add richness and depth to their memories; visiting gravesites and researching family history helps add to those rich traditions.
Many of the gravestones at Sewickley Cemetery serve simply as memorial stones, added to a family lot or grave to mark the passing of a loved one who is interred elsewhere or whose remains are lost or unrecovered. Just like regular grave markers, memorial stones may be ordered through a monument company. The Memorial Wall on the front of our public Mausoleum also serves the same purpose, and inscriptions here may be arranged for through the cemetery office.
Lot holders may create a 12-inch flower bed in front of grave stones and plant flowers if desired. We recommend you mulch the bed and look after it, including spraying with deer repellant. Contact the office for a list of recommended flowers and plants that deer are less likely to eat. Also please get permission from the superintendent regarding planting bushes next to gravestones; plantings behind stones is prohibited. Glass containers, wire holders, edging, marbles or gravel in front of the stone are not permitted as these create a dangerous situation for groundskeepers.
Flags (pursuant to Federal Veterans Administration regulations) are permitted from Memorial Day until September 6 every year. Artificial flowers or wreaths are permitted during winter months but must be removed by March 15.
Christmas wreaths and Easter lilies or hyacinths are offered for sale through the cemetery office each year. Contact the office to order.
We are required by law to contribute a portion of the purchase price of each grave to a perpetual care fund, which addresses general care and maintenance of the cemetery. This includes cutting grass, regrading of graves, maintenance of water supply systems, roads, drainage, etc. This happens automatically – lot owners and families do not need to contribute toward perpetual care.
An endowment, on the other hand, is a fund that is set up privately by an individual to address the special care needs of an individual or family plot. This is best done with the President of the Board of the cemetery and your own investment advisor. Contact the office for more details.
The original lot owner has authority over who is interred in the graves he/she owns and gives permission for those burials. We suggest that future burial designations be recorded at the time of purchase – this saves confusion later. In the absence of designations, the cemetery staff will not get involved in family disputes but is happy to assist with ascertaining the rights of family members to be interred in older lots and helping you obtain the proper permissions.
Individuals are not required to get permission to take personal photographs in the cemetery. We ask that you be respectful of the landscape, the privacy of those buried here and the mourners who visit the graves of family and friends.
If you want to take pictures of the cemetery for non-personal use (blogs, digital news articles, etc.) please contact the cemetery office at least two weeks in advance.
Sewickley Cemetery maintains close relationships with the Boroughs of Sewickley and Sewickley Heights, but we are an independent, non-profit corporation. We serve residents throughout the Ohio Valley and beyond; our ties and commitment are to present and future lot holders. Sewickley Cemetery is also a non-sectarian cemetery – we are not affiliated with any specific church or denomination, and are open to members of all religious faiths.
Independent means that we are not part of any other organization or conglomerate. Decisions are made by the Board of Corporators. Non-profit means that we have no shareholders to share our revenues with, and all monies in excess of expenses stay in the cemetery for maintenance and improvement.
No, you will find that Sewickley Cemetery’s prices are far below what you would expect considering the beauty, serenity and care that we offer. This is a cemetery of incredible natural beauty and unparalleled care that truly must be seen to be appreciated. We invite you to tour the cemetery on your own, and then compare what you find here to other cemeteries in the area. We welcome your feedback about what you discover.
A columbarium is a small granite structure with numerous small compartments (“niches”) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains, or “cremains.” Sewickley Cemetery currently has three columbaria located on the perimeter of the Cremation Garden.
Absolutely; in fact, we highly recommend pre-planning, either for yourself or for loved ones. See Make Arrangements for more details.
Through the Sewickley Cemetery Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, your donations to the cemetery are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.