Local group working to to put headstones on unmarked graves in Sioux Falls area

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Usually you go to a cemetery to visit a loved one who has passed. But for some, their graves are unmarked; whether due to financial problems or they don’t have any more family.

There are thousands of graves in cemeteries across Sioux Falls and the surrounding area, but some of them have gone unmarked.

A group called Odd Fellows of Sioux Falls Lodge #9 is working to change that. The group started a project back in 2017 called Remember Me.

“Project Remember Me is to mark the graves within the greater Sioux Falls area that are unmarked so that everybody is remembered, we believe that everybody deserves to have their final resting place marked so that they are forever remembered,” Odd Fellows member, Jeff Oyen said.

Oyen says there are thousands of unmarked graves in the greater Sioux Falls area. It costs about $300 for a headstone.

“Remember Me is to mark first and foremost the children’s graves that are unmarked, it’s not limited to that, but that is our first and foremost interest and if anybody wanted to make a donation for any grave they believe is unmarked, we would be glad to do that as well,” Oyen said.

“I think it’s a noble cause, we always feel here that if a life has been lived, that life deserves to be remembered, and it’s always important for families to have a place to go after a death and if graves aren’t marked it’s difficult to know where that person may be, so I think marking graves is a wonderful idea,” funeral director at George Boom Funeral Home, Jon Salberg said.

The first ten headstones will be placed at the Minnehaha County Cemetery for the Remember Me Project.

“The first project of 10 gravestones was all fundraised within our lodge,” Oyen said.

A project making sure nobody is forgotten.

“We hope to work raising money and installing headstones until everybody is remembered,” Oyen said.

The first set of gravestones will be finished being put into place by the end of August.

If you have you would like to donate or find out more information, you can contact Brad Schneider at 605-941-2596 or schneider@alliancecom.net.

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