St. Thomas Cemetery

 

621 Beck Drive, Waterford
Located just to the South of the Parish Campus

e-mail: sta.cemetery@gmail.com

 

Clean Up Announcements: SPRING and FALL

Rules and Regulations

Contributor Acknowledgement

Adopted & Available for Adoption Flower Beds

To Contribute and/or Adopt a Flower Bed
Contact A Cemetery Committee Member

 

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CATHOLICISM and Organ Donation

Organ, eye, and tissue donation is considered an act of charity and love, and transplants are morally and ethically acceptable to the Vatican. (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 86)

Find information on donation at U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation website: http://www.organdonor.gov

CATHOLICISM & Funeral Rites

Find information at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website. Browse the entire site for complete information: http://www.usccb.org or browse one of the links below

 

For Bereavement and Funeral Information:

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/index.cfm

 

For an Overview of Catholic Funeral Rites:

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/overview-of-catholic-funeral-rites.cfm

 

For Cremation and Funeral Information:

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/cremation-and-funerals.cfm

  

St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery History

   On September 8, 1853 St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery was consecrated by Bishop J.M. Henni. Reverend P. Schwaiger had great care for the cemetery and fenced it in 1874. In 1910, Father Albers had the low spots filled-in, and the grounds were surveyed and platted with a concrete sidewalk installed from the cemetery to the church. On May 1, 1912, Father Albers, the pastor, died and was buried in St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery.

In 1913, a Memorial Chapel was erected over Father Albers gravesite by mason, Joseph Dressmann and carpenter, Joseph Harter. The chapel cost eight-hundred dollars which was donated by parishioners. Also, the cemetery monuments were cleaned and straightened - it took twenty-five men two days to do the cemetery clean-up. By 1915, the entrance was built at a cost of four-hundred dollars. Father Pierron, who had directed the building of the Memorial Chapel for his predecessor, was also honored when he was laid to rest in the Memorial Chapel in 1945.

   In 1941, the Henry Naber family bequeathed the "triangle of land" to the church as an addition to the cemetery. Joe Linneman donated dirt-fill and Mr. Reesman hauled the fill to the cemetery, and water was made available on the grounds. Also, the Norton family donated land on the North side for additional enlargement to the cemetery. Because this area was low in elevation, Dora Beck filled in the low lying area and paid the back taxes so the church could receive a clear title to the land. Additionally, in 1947, Dora Beck sold forty acres of land for a fee of five-thousand five hundred dollars to the cemetery, with the remaining land value being considered a gift. Rental from this property was used to pay the majority of the cemetery expenses. The land was sold for over a million dollars in 2000 and helped immensely to fund the 2007 House of Worship! In 1950, two and a half acres of land North of the cemetery was purchased. Wanting to identify the cemetery to the general public, Walter Maas and Raymond Roloff had the two gateposts at the South driveway and the two at the North driveway built with “St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Cemetery” on them from excess lannon stone used in the rectory construction. The original stone flowerpot markers are located at the North and South boundaries of the cemetery. In 1990 and again in 2009 monuments were leveled and reset, along with tuck point repair to the Chapel and stone markers. The Knights of Columbus donated a memorial monument to the unborn and it can be found on the East side of the cemetery.

   Trees planted in 1990 on the North side of the North driveway were moved to different locations in the cemetery in 2002 as they were too close to the driveway for grave digging equipment to pass. Records indicate that the Chapel was painted in 1938, 1991, 2004 and 2017. Pine trees were removed from the East side of the grounds and new plantings were added along with an information sign as part of Ben Mehring’s Eagle Scout Project in 2003. Wind storms blew down large maple trees on North side of cemetery-volunteers cleaned up and removed the debris in 2006 and 2008. Dirt fill was added to the North side of the cemetery in 2007 as well as a parking area added to the East side of the grounds. The North section of the cemetery was also replotted at this time to better utilize the space and conform to other gravesites in the cemetery. Larry Kempken and Sons Construction built and donated a maintenance shed for the cemetery with Jack Essman finishing the concrete slab on which it stands. The North driveway was ground, raised and repaved, and more parking area was added in 2009. The paving projects were funded by the cemetery along with donations of materials from the Arthur DeGrave family and labor and equipment donated by a family member in memory of Robert and Mary Johnson. Brush from encroaching lowlands was cut back in 2009. A very talented machinist repaired the iron crosses and tooled a new latch for the iron cemetery gate. He, along with a very talented carpenter, constructed and replaced the rotted vent of the cemetery Chapel. 2016 hedges were removed from West side of cemetery as they posed a safety concern with cars exiting the grounds. 2017 brought the removal of five large maple trees. It was sad to see them removed, but safety concerns due to rotting made this necessary.

   Many hours and much material and equipment has been donated by countless persons to help in the maintenance of the cemetery throughout the years, names of which are too numerous to list. All contributions of time, talent, and treasure are greatly appreciated.

   Presently, over 1700 souls are interned at St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery with some graves dating back as far as 1847.

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