Anthony VanNest
Cemetery Sexton, Parks Supervisor
Phone: (269) 659-7245

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The Sturgis Cemetery has one (1) cemetery grounds keeper, one (1) part time secretary, one cemetery sexton, and one (1) superintendent. During the summer we have six (6) seasonal workers. We maintain approximately forty (40) acres at Oak Lawn Cemetery and five (5) acres at Memorial Gardens. In addition to maintaining the cemeteries, the cemetery department is also responsible for the maintenance of City Hall and Library lawns and flowers and the planters in City owned parking lots.

Cemetery Board: The Cemetery Board oversees the Cemetery Division. The Board was established by the City Charter. It is a five (5) member board with a non voting member from the City Commission. The board members serve five (5) year terms.The Cemetery Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 9:00 a.m. in the conference room at Sturgis City Hall.

Cemeteries: The City has two cemeteries:

Oak Lawn Cemetery: Oak Lawn Cemetery was established in 1867 with a twelve (12) acre plot. There are currently forty acres in the cemetery. The cemetery is located at the northeast corner of S. Nottawa Street and E. South Street. There have been approximately 10,000 burials in Oak Lawn Cemetery. There are currently 2,000 new double lots that have been developed for use. The cemetery averages about 100 full burials, 25 cremations, 2 baby burials, and 1 disinterment per year. Oak Lawn Cemetery should meet our needs for 15 to 20 more years.

The newest addition to Oak Lawn Cemetery is a 48 Niche Columbarium. This is used for cremation remains.
Memorial Gardens: Memorial Gardens was established in 1983 with formal dedication in 1985. The cemetery is located on the south side of E. Fawn River Road east of S. Nottawa Street. It was started as a low maintenance alternative to Oak Lawn Cemetery. A low maintenance cemetery has no headstones, only flush mounted markers are allowed. There have been 112 burials in Memorial Gardens since it opened.

Cemetery Maintenance: In 1995 cemetery crews started mowing the cemeteries for the first time since 1982, from 1982 to 1995 the mowing was contracted out. We have saved a substantial amount money by mowing with cemetery forces and the appearance of the cemetery has also improved substantially. In 1996 a total of 2,225 man hours were spent mowing and trimming the cemeteries.