Tag Archives: cemetery

cypress lawn cemetery

Cypress Lawn Cemetery is a spectacular cemetery located in Colma, California. Many industrial titans who lived in San Francisco are buried here, along with publishing giants and people who made this area (and the country in some cases) what it is today.

The entrance looks like the entrance to a medieval castle. The back gate continues the medieval theme:

In between these structures is a cemetery filled with monuments, crypts, mausoleums and graves that are so spectacular that very few people could afford them nowadays.

There are very old tombstones, some from as early as the 1800s…

Man’s best friend can be found in this cemetery, apparently waiting for his master.

Photographers use the beautiful, gothic atmosphere for photo shoots.

My favorite crypts are the ones buried in a small hill. The monument is on the top, the crypt is in the hillside.

Colma, known as “the city of the silent,” has 1.5 million residents underground in 17 cemeteries and about 1700 above ground… all in less than two square miles. Colma’s motto: “It’s great to be alive in Colma.”

cemetery run 2010 – part two

The second part of our annual cemetery run included a trip to Inglewood Park Cemetery and Riverside National Cemetery. They’re a couple of hours apart (in good traffic), so it was a long day. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day until about 3:30 in the afternoon when it started turning dark and chilly. We survived.

First stop – Inglewood Park Cemetery.

My brother Gary is buried here, as are my Auntie Eleanor, Auntie Ethel, Uncle Willy and cousin Ceresia.

Gary William Johnson lived 22 days. He was born prematurely and, 57 years ago, his internal problems couldn’t be corrected.

Minda Ceresia Barrett, my cousin, was three months old when she died. She’s buried seven spaces down from Gary.

Eleanor Cradic, my aunt, was only42 years old when she died from cancer.

Ethel Keddy, my aunt and Eleanor’s sister, also died from cancer. Eleanor and Ethel were both my dad’s sisters (dad also succumbed to cancer).

Willis Keddy, my uncle, was Auntie Ethel’s husband.

Two last headstones… Judy Ann Bilbrey is buried next to Gary, and we’ve always decorated her grave as if she was a member of our family. In all the years we’ve done this ( we’ve only missed a handful in 57 years), her grave has never been visited or decorated by anyone other than us as far as we know. That’s sad. So my family “adopted” her so that she wasn’t completely alone and forgotten.

Gayle Lynn Bremer is on the other side of Gary and, like Judy, has never been visited as far as we know, so we “adopted” her, too. (we finished decorating both graves after we to0k these pictures)


Now… the second half of part two: Riverside National Cemetery. We have three family members buried there:

My dad, Glenn Eldon Johnson

My cousin, Clint Smith

My cousin Larie’s dad, Clarence Woelke (aka Chip)

(all three graves were decorated after these photos were taken)

As we left Riverside National we stopped for a short visit with the geese (we forgot to bring them bread!) and then headed home.

cemetery run 2010 – part one

No, it’s not a marathon conducted in a cemetery (I was recently asked if that’s what the cemetery run was). Each year at Christmas time we visit the family graves at five cemeteries – Desert Lawn, Riverside National, Inglewood Park, Forest Lawn Cypress and Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills – and decorate them, some years elaborately and some years not so elaborately. This year was a little of each.

The first part (one of four) was a few weeks ago when we met up with cousins Chuck & Larie and my Uncle Buddy at Forest Lawn Cypress, where my Grandmother, Granddaddy and Auntie Brenda are buried.

Grandmother’s grave:

Granddaddy’s grave:

Chuck at Auntie Brenda’s grave:

Uncle Buddy, Larie and Chuck at Auntie Brenda’s grave:

After the decorating was finished we headed over to Knott’s Berry Farm for lunch at TGI Friday’s and some wandering through the shops. Chuck and Mike were pooped out so they found a comfortable bench to rest on while the rest of us shopped.

It was the first time we’ve gone cemeterying (yep, I made that up) with relatives and it was fun. We’re looking forward to another cemetery run with Chuck, Larie and Uncle Buddy in the future.