Working hard to maintain local cemeteries — this weekend and year-round


CLINTON COUNTY — As Memorial Day approaches, many locals will gather at cemeteries to pay respects to deceased loved ones. Owners and maintenance personnel across the county work to make sure things look good for the holiday aas well as the rest of the year.

A release from the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing encourages Ohioans to report any concerning issues they spot at Ohio cemeteries this weekend to property owners.

“Memorial Day is a sacred time of remembrance in the United States,” said Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield. “We want to ensure a positive visit for everyone visiting Ohio cemeteries to honor their loved ones and heroes. For that to happen, cemetery owners need to be aware of issues and our agency needs to know if the problems can’t be resolved locally.”

Andrea Tacoronte, Cemetery Clerk and Safety/Service Coordinator for the City of Wilmington, describes Sugar Grove Cemetery as an important asset to the city, beyond a place where local residents’ loved ones are laid to rest.

“I think it’s unique,” said Tacoronte. “Locals use it for more than just a cemetery. It’s a place where people go for walks, it’s a place of respite in the middle of the city. It’s a place where we honor our veterans. There’s a lot of Wilmington in there.”

She advises residents to contact the city if they discover an issue with the cemetery, from fallen limbs to damaged property, by either calling the Safety/Service office at 937-382-6509 or emailing them at [email protected] .

“We look forward to continuing to take care of this asset and improve upon it in the future,” she said.

In Blanchester, brothers Charlie and Bob Vance are the trustees who maintain the I.O.O.F.Cemetery.

Charlie Vance told the News Journal that maintaining the cemetery isn’t easy, but they’ll always take care of it.

“There’s been lots of ups and downs — mother nature takes a toll on it too — but it’s always ready when it comes to Memorial Day,” said Charlie.

The state’s minimum maintenance guidelines indicate the grass needs to be mowed and trimmed at least once a month. But he told the News Journal they’ll mow as frequently as they can until the fall — he knows how important it is not only to the Village of Blanchester, but to the community as a whole.

“We like to take good care of it and make it look good in the public’s eye,” he said.

He advised they appreciate any tips about things that need tending to. The best way for locals to let them know of any maintenance needed would be to contact the village at 937-783-4702.

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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