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Peshtigo Riverside Cemetery Discuss Columbaria Purchase

Issue Date: October 14, 2020

Peshtigo Riverside Cemetery Association held a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8 to discuss the purchase of either one or two Columbaria from Menominee Granite Company for the designated cremation area.

A Columbarium is a single space niche compartment to hold urns inside of a Columbaria which is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of urns holding a deceased's cremated remains. The term comes from the Latin word Columba meaning dove and was originally referred to as compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons called a dovecote.

A Columbaria can be either free standing units or part of a mausoleum or another building. In some cases, Columbaria are built into Church structures. In the Roman Catholic Church, traditional burial is still preferred, but cremation is permitted provided that the cremated remains are buried or entombed. As a result, a Columbaria can be found within some Catholic cemeteries.

The question remains, whether ashes should be kept at home or scattered, so a Columbarium is a good option. The Columbaria is made up of many niches and a person may reserve a Columbarium niche to be stored inside the Columbaria for after their funeral.

A Columbarium offers an alternative to scattering ashes and keeping them at home. If you want to keep the ashes of a loved one after their death, but would rather not have them at home, storing them in a Columbarium gives you a location where you can visit a loved one, pay your respects and know that their final resting place is being taken care of.

The location of where the Columbaria would be is in the grassy area to the West near the fence line by the storage building, Mausoleum and work shed area. The units are 99" x 41 1/2" and hold 48 niches with 24 on each side of the unit.

Todd Schloegel of Menominee Granite was present to answer questions and guide the association through the process. Schloegel said, "Down the road there needs to be a discussion of who sells the niches and facilitates all the decisions with the Columbaria. Marinette has someone in their office dedicated to the purchase of the niches that is knowledgeable about the units and pricing structure. If there is a need for you to have Menominee Granite to manage things, the Cemetery can sell them and pay Menominee Granite to have them lettered, however you want to do it, but you are going to want consistency".

There was further discussion if they should buy one or two Columbarias, the design, exact placement, type and width of path, what types of items are allowed to be put in the unit and confirmation of pricing of cement work and the Columbaria.

After much discussion, a motion was made to purchase two Columbaria from Menominee Granite and it was unanimously approved. The communications will continue on how to move forward with guidelines, finalizing of cement slabs, verifying any permits that may be needed, exact location of installation, who will facilitate the process and be the central contact person, what memorial items will be allowed in the niches and allowable size of veterans markers.

Schloegel ended with, "This will be a great asset to your cemetery. You may not be the first in the area to offer the Columbaria option, but you will be the first to offer a 48 unit Columbaria".


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