happy holidays

As I look back on the past year, I am reminded of the many people who are no longer with us, the events that have impacted our lives, and the numerous changes that we've pivoted or adapted to.

In this final newsletter of 2022, I will share with you how the Oak Ridge Cemetery community has evolved, the events that were held, and the positive changes that took place.

One of the changes is captured in this picture. The cemetery office no longer has the blue wallpaper. What a difference a new coat of paint makes! A special thanks to the CWLP paint crew who removed the twenty-plus-year-old wallpaper.

Furthermore, I am grateful for the continuous support of our leaders and our community! It has been a humbling experience and a pleasure to serve our community this year.

Thank you for investing in Oak Ridge.

Seasons Greetings,

Lashonda Fitch, Executive Director

Honoring Our Veterans

Photo Credit: IL State Historic Sites

D-Day Remembrance Ceremony and Christmas Remembrance Ceremony

June 6, 2022, marked the 78th anniversary of Codename Operation Neptune

(D-Day). Mayor Jim Langfelder and the President of the Illinois WWII Veterans Memorial held a ceremony at the WWII Veterans Memorial in recognition of D-Day survivors and families.

On December 3, 2022, the Illinois State Historic Sites held their Vietnam Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Christmas Remembrance Ceremony. Sixty-three heart-shaped ornaments were placed on a pine tree near the Vietnam War Memorial in memory of the unaccounted Illinois soldiers.

The ceremony is held annually on the first Saturday in December at the Vietnam War Memorial.

Preserving History

Project Complete!

The Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation replaced nine "notable signs" throughout the cemetery.

Learn more about the project here.

The Original Deeds

Over the summer, nine original deed books were transferred from the Springfield City Clerk's office to the Oak Ridge Vault.

Reinvesting in Oak Ridge

A much-needed upgrade.

With the City Council's approval, City Budget Director McCarty and Mr. Wier purchased a 2018 Dodge Caravan. The 2003 Buick can now retire as we welcome the new van to transport our families and patrons.

Thank you,

Mayor Jim Langfelder, Alderpersons, Director McCarty, & Mr. Wier!

Senior and Veterans Day at the Fair

Community Engagement

The cemetery staff was onsite at the 2022 Senior and Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair. There were over 250 entries for our raffles. The winners are pictured below.

Events at Oak Ridge

Echoes of Yesteryear: A Walk Through Oak Ridge Cemetery 

 “As in the past, this year’s Cemetery Walk provided visitors with a glimpse into the history and heritage of Springfield and Sangamon County,” - Patricia Davis

This year's walk included actors/actresses who were dressed in period costumes and portrayed eight individuals who made significant contributions to the community.

Watch The 2022 Press Conference here

Save the date for next year's tour


8th Annual Tree Tour

The Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation's Tree Project completed another successful tree tour. The 2022 tour was named Temple Garden because the tour was located in the section of the cemetery that was previously named Temple Garden.

Learn more about the special trees here.

Save the date for next year's tree tour.


A Walk Through Oak Ridge

This summer, Curtis Mann, Lincoln Library's City Historian held several guided walks throughout the southeast section of the Cemetery. During the hour walk, Mann provided a brief history of Oak Ridge, shared a few stories about several prominent families, he discussed the Abbey (Sangamon County's first public mausoleum), and how it changed hands several times before the Oak Ridge Board of Managers acquired it.

Restoring Oak Ridge

The Public Works Streets and Sewer crews did a tremendous job repaving several areas in the cemetery this year. We appreciate your help in restoring history, thank you!

A special thanks to the

Dedicated to Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge has been a special place for 78,000 people including the nine dedicated staff members listed here. Over the last few years, we had a couple of staff members leave and return! Overall, the success of the cemetery is to the hard-working and committed individuals listed above. Thank you for serving our community.

Residing at Oak Ridge

Over the past year, we've captured several different species in the cemetery. Here are the top three.

Behind the Scenes with Director Fitch

2022 City Hall

Chili Cook Champion!

The director was aiming for the people's choice, however, she ran out of her delicious Lashonda's Louisiana Chilli!

She ended up being the winner of the Best Hot Chili.

Andre from News Channel 20, was our media representative for this year's Sangamon Country Historical Society's Annual Cemetery Walk press conference.

We welcome him to Springfield and wish him the best in his media career.

Also captured in this shot is the new paint color in the office.

Grilling for the team.

The director often shows her appreciation to the team by occasionally making their lunch.

Hamburgers and hot dogs were on the menu that day.

Michael's Community Engagement

Michael has done a great job in with his community involvement this year. Here are his highlights.

Educating our community at our first farmer's market.

Michael wrote his first newspaper article this year.

Pick up a copy of the Senior News & Times for Illinois to learn more about "The Forever impression."

Assisting with clean-up at the 2nd Annual City of Springfield's Pumpkin Smash.


Oak Ridge has outdoor burial options for Veterans near the Illinois State War Memorials?

Request for more info here.

Feedback Fridays

We serve many families at Oak Ridge. Feedback gives us the opportunity to grow and improve our level of service. Here's what a few has shared about our customer service.

Jeff's Safety Reminders

Oak Ridge is full of objects. Including; poisonous mushrooms, several different species of animals, grave decorations that are not allowed, and foundations that have been dug and awaiting concrete to be poured, leaving large openings in the ground. This is one reason why visitors are not allowed on the cemetery grounds at night after the gates close.

Also, please keep in mind that when you park on the grass you are likely parking on someone's grave. In addition, the ruts that are left behind damage the grass. For these reasons, we ask that you park your vehicle on the road and not on the grass.

Lastly, if you are walking your pet(s) in the cemetery, the city ordinance requires them to be on a leash, and we ask that you take their waste with you.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Jeff, Operations oordinator

Have You Noticed Our Signs?

For the safety of our visitors, we have several signs posted around the cemetery.

The cemetery is open September 1st thru March 31st: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The hours are extended from April 1st thru August 31st: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

New Rules and Regulations

The board of managers approved the following changes to the rules and regulations this year.

Rights of interment -No more than three interments per space are allowed, as approved by management. These interments can be; one full casketed interment and two inurnments; or three inurnments of cremated remains.

Please note: No pet remains or cremains may be interred or inurned with human remains.

Decorations Policy - All decorations will be removed one week from a personal event or public holiday or non-public holiday. Examples include wedding anniversaries, birthdays, father’s day, and mother’s day.

Religious Burial Policy -The cemetery will no longer provide additional supplies for the burial ceremony. The religious organization will be responsible for obtaining and providing additional supplies. (i.e.: shovels or ladders) 

A full copy of the rules and regulations can be found here.

Electronic Communication

ORC Newsletter launch

In July we published our first newsletter! The newsletter gives us an opportunity to capture a snapshot of the operations, share our story, and communicate with the community.

The newsletter will be published quarterly in 2023.

Catch up on past issues here.

Thank You, Community Partners!

We appreciate the partnerships with other city departments, the State of Illinois, and Downtown Springfield Inc. We look forward to working with all of you in the new year! Thank you for partnering with us!

Season's Greetings!

The staff at Oak Ridge Cemetery wishes you and your family a peaceful and joyful Holiday Season.

1441 Monument Ave. Springfield, IL 62702 oakridgecemetery.org

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