Norfolk Society for
Cemetery Conservation
Preserving, Protecting & Promoting
Norfolk's Historic Cemeteries

Join us on June 18, at 6:30 pm for our last tour until September. We are taking a break in July and August due to summer heat. See full tour schedule HERE. Donation $5.  

Info & Weather Cancellations: NSCC web page or NSCC Facebook page

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation would like to announce the return of our annual 5K Run/Walk on October 16th! Stay tuned for more information to come on Facebook and our website
Henri Ellis, originally from Michigan, moved to Norfolk in 1982 and after a few moves to other area cities returned to Norfolk where she has lived continuously since 1993. She has a B.S. in Organizational Management from Bluefield College and an MBA from Averett University.

David Sullivan was born in Norfolk and is a graduate of ODU, TCC, and Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach. His mother’s family has lived in Norfolk since 1844, and he has family members buried in four of Norfolk’s historic cemeteries, Cedar Groove, Elmwood, Forest Lawn, and Riverside. David is an avid photographer and history buff and has fulfilled over 1,200 photo requests on Find-a-Grave.

Tracy Halman is a lifelong resident of Norfolk and has been a member of NSCC for several years and holds a B.A. in History from ODU.  He is currently Product Manager for Tidewater Power Equipment Company which is a wholesale power equipment distributorship located here in Norfolk. 

The 2021 tour season began with Samantha McDonald conducting a tour at Cedar Grove Cemetery on March 6, 2021 and Shannon Stafford conducting a tour at Elmwood Cemetery on March 13, 2021. The tours will continue through October with the exception of July and August due to heat.

Samantha McDonald
I'm originally from Brownsville, Texas. I initially moved to Hampton Roads in 2008 when I was in the military and was stationed here until 2011. From there my husband's naval career moved us around and we ended up back here in 2016.  I first became interested in becoming a cemetery tour guide after I attended one of Shannon Stafford's tours and wondered how I could do something that cool. A few months later he put out a Facebook post asking if anyone was interested in becoming a tour guide. I jumped at the chance. Cemetery tours are so interesting because the dead have so much to say. We, as tour guides, can tell their stories and keep their memories alive. There is so much more to them than just a headstone. 
Shannon Stafford
My name is Shannon Stafford and I am from Toronto, Canada. I was the head tour guide for four cemeteries (Mount Pleasant, Prospect Cemetery, Toronto Necropolis and St. James Cemetery) in Toronto for 10 years prior to moving to Hampton Roads.  I moved here to the Hampton Roads area in 2017 when I met my wife, Christine. I strive to educate people with tours filled with historical facts and hope to leave them with a better understanding of the wealth of local history that is at their fingertips.  
West Point Cemetery
On May 15, 2021, seventeen members of the Adam Thoroughgood chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American revolution (DAR) participated in a project to plant two beds of perennials at the West Point Monument at the veterans’ lot in West Point Cemetery. The project was conducted as part of a DAR nationwide effort to plant gardens to honor veterans in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. The Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation (NSCC) board members, Diana Ramsey, Mike Frost, Cindy Meier and Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries personnel, John Dill, Xavier, and Kil, helped the DAR members. The planting consisted of four varieties of plants for a total of about 140 plants. After planting, the plants were mulched and watered. Lunch was provided. We appreciate the members of the local DAR chapter who worked on this project.
A dedication ceremony was held for the newly planted Never Forget Garden at West Point Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021. Several area dignitaries spoke at the ceremony. The main speaker was Dr. Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Dean, College of Liberal Arts, Norfolk State University. Others include the Honorable Jen Kiggans, Virginia State Senator representing the Seventh District, the Honorable Elaine Luria, U.S. Representative representing Virginia’s Second District, Quinton T. Anderson, Worshipful Master, Rising Sun Masonic Lodge #2, Prince Hall, Darrell R. Crittendon, Director, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Open Space, City of Norfolk, and LeAnn Turbyville, State Regent, Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution. Speakers representing the Adam Thoroughgood Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, were Florence Reese, Regent; Esther Dean; and Deborah Frazier.
A great deal of thanks goes to the City of Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries staff members, John Dill, Operations Manager, Susan Platt, Information Specialist ll, and Diana Ramsey, President, Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation for their efforts in assisting the DAR chapter to bring about an excellent Memorial Day event. Thanks also to Mike Frost, NSCC Board Member, Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation, for being our photographer.

Our cemetery conservation season begins in April 15 and continues to November. Volunteers allow us to accomplish the mission of NSCC - preserve, protect, and promote Norfolk’s historic cemeteries.

  • We are currently looking for a Volunteer coordinator to help restart the Thursday workdays.

  • NSCC is interested in working with special interest groups and large groups of volunteers so that more work can be accomplished. Water and snacks are provided on all workdays.

  • Efforts consist of landscape work, tree trimming, and monument repair such as leveling, realigning, gluing, bracing and resetting headstones, footstones, cribs, cornerstones, curbing and steps. We train volunteers in these efforts. 

Contact Diana Ramsey at
Sustaining Member Levels
Footstone  - $10 per month
Headstone - $25 per month
Monument - $35 per month 
You may also become an NSCC member for a one-time fee of $25 per year per person ($15 for students & military with valid ID).  

Becoming a Sustaining Member of the NSCC is easy and insures that more of your donation goes towards the preservation of Norfolk's public cemeteries.
Your monthly gift will make it possible for the NSCC to:

Professionally assess restoration projects
Procure materials to repair broken artifacts
Hire a professional stone mason and contractors
Make use of equipment to lift & move monuments
Provide tools, gloves, and safety apparel
Provide a reliable stream of program support
David Sullivan

Sallie Shepherd 
Page Fitchett
Andrew Merchant 
Robert Woolfitt 
Kathryn Melhuish 
Mike Frost
Roland Vaults 
Andra English
Cindy Meier
Richard Gresham

Would you like to become
a member?

Want to send a donation?

P. O. Box 11446, Norfolk, VA 23517
Want to know more about the NSCC?
Is your civic league, historical society, or any other group interested in a speaker for your upcoming meeting? if so, please contact Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation
at 757-619-0540.  NSCC has a number of members knowledgeable about Norfolk’s historical cemeteries,
the history of the City of Norfolk, and related topics.
The mission of the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation (NSCC) is to preserve, protect and promote the eight historic municipal cemeteries located in Norfolk, Virginia through conservation, education and advocacy. NSCC partners with The City of Norfolk's Bureau of Cemeteries to ensure the conservation & preservation of Norfolk's eight historic municipal cemeteries. These sacred spaces are valuable artistic, educational, cultural and recreational resources for our community
Board of Directors
Diana Ramsey, President
David Cacace, Vice President
Mike Frost, Secretary
Donna Bluemink
Cindy Meier
Jim Ramsey
Andrew Roberts
David Sullivan
Tracy Halman
Henri Ellis

John Dill, Chief Conservator

P. O. Box 11446
Norfolk, VA 23517
Administrative Staff
Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries
Ted Dudley, Bureau Manager
John Dill, Operations Manager
Susan Platt, Public Information Specialist II
Alicia Rincones, Administrative Technician
238 E. Princess Anne Road
Norfolk, VA 23510