Cullman Memory Gardens donated to local nonprofit board

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Cullman Memory Gardens is seen Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The future of Cullman Memory Gardens is brighter after receiving good news recently. The cemetery is no longer a for-profit investor-owned cemetery. It is now owned and will be operated by a local nonprofit board created by the Alabama Legislature. The owners of Memory Gardens donated the cemetery to the Cullman Memory Gardens Cemetery Foundation on Sept. 15, 2022.

Tragedy of disgrace

Over 1,000 loved ones were disgraced, including over 300 honorable military veterans when multiple bankruptcies in past years left Cullman Memory Gardens Cemetery in disrepair.

Community volunteers saddened by overgrown grass and deteriorating conditions responded the best they could while the slow pace of the bankruptcy courts worked through the system.

Legislators stepped up

In 2016, responding to hurting families of loved ones, the local Cullman County Legislative Delegation passed legislation establishing the Cullman County Cemetery Board with a process to acquire the bankrupt cemetery.

Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman and Representatives Randall Shedd, R-Cullman; Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope; and Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle, appointed a great board and never gave up.

New cemetery board delivers

The new board put in countless hours working to improve the cemetery grounds and facilities while negotiating to acquire the cemetery from the company that owned it through foreclosure after the bankruptcy was dismissed.

After months of negotiations led by board members Ron Foust, Austin Hall, Jerry Smith, Amy Walker and Eddie Williams, the company donated the cemetery with the final paperwork completed on Sept.17, 2022.

Locally owned and not for profit

Never again will families of loved ones at Cullman Memory Gardens be faced with bankruptcies by out-of-state for-profit companies because now Cullman Memory Gardens is owned and will be operated by a local nonprofit board!

While the bankruptcies took away some of the benefits of those who previously purchased cemetery lots and funerals, the local board continues to return dignity and respect to Cullman Memory Gardens and is determined to make it a place families of loved ones can be proud!

Now they can rest in peace!

Our community can take comfort in knowing, even though the past has been marked with unfortunate for-profit bad operators, that will never happen again now that Cullman Memory Gardens is owned and will be operated locally — now our loved ones can rest in peace.

Our community never gave up

As dark as the situation was, our community never gave up!

Every member of the new Cullman County Cemetery Board has family in the cemetery or mausoleum. Cooperation between public/private partnerships with local legislators, the county commission, the county economic development authority and hundreds of volunteers means Cullman Memory Gardens can now look forward to a bright future.

Anyone making donations for improvements or purchasing lots can now know 100% will be used for maintaining and improving the cemetery and mausoleums!

If you have questions or would like to donate or purchase a lot, contact Cullman Memory Gardens by email at cullmanmemorygarden@gmail.com.

A telephone number is in the process of being obtained.

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