Thirty headstones placed in the Minnehaha County Cemetery Sunday

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – When we visit a loved one’s final resting spot, usually there is a headstone to mark who they were during their time on Earth. However, that’s not always the case.

Sometimes family members don’t have the resources to give their loved one a final resting spot or perhaps a homeless person passes away without the means for a burial.

In 2017, the South Dakota Independent Order of Odd Fellows found out over 250 people had been buried in the Minnehaha County Cemetery because of reasons like those. The county pays for the burial, but not any markers. The Odd Fellows stepped in to help.

“We really feel very strongly that every life matters, everyone is significant, every story is important and everyone deserves the dignity of a lasting marker that identifies that they lived and that they mattered,” Carol Woltger with the South Dakota Independent Order of Odd Fellows said.

After today, they have placed 60 headstones out at the county cemetery. They started with unmarked infant graves and have now moved on to adults.

There were around 50 or 60 volunteers at the cemetery, including football players from four area high schools and one family who donated money to help buy two of the headstones placed today.

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