a permanent place to remember

why a permanent memorial

why a permanent memorial

We create a permanent memorial - a cemetery monument - for those we love and for those who love us in order to nurture and support a transformational journey through grief toward healing.

Thoughtfully designed, a cemetery monument is a permanent place for healing and memory where a visible image is shared and an invitation is offered to connect in a physical space to see death made real, to recall important memories, to express affection and love, confession and forgiveness and to be assured that we are not alone.

In the presence of a cemetery monument, we are humbled and become reflective on the life of those we love and gain perspective regarding our own life.  We recall significant memories and we begin to embrace gratitude and joy in the midst of sorrow.

Thoughtful monument design is generally mindful of...
1.   Those we love and those who love us - How will this help them Heal?
2.  Design Elements which prompt Reflection - What do I Remember when visiting?
3.  Ease in Identifying and Accessing - Can I find and get to the Monument?
4.  Harmony with Surroundings - Does the Monument fit with Landscape?
5.  Choice of appropriate Material - Is the Design Permanent, Unique and Pleasing?
6.  Scale - Is the Size and Dimension Appropriate?
7.  Budget - Are we Able and Willing to Commit the Funds for the Monument?
8.  Specifications - Are there Guidelines required by the Cemetery?

Clients choose Oak Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens and St. Francois Memorial Park (Our Cemeteries) for Cemetery Monument Design for:

KINDNESS.  You are not alone.  We are here with you.
SUPPORT.  Your journey from grief toward healing is our focus.
EXPERIENCE.  We have been in operation more than 50 year.
KNOWLEDGE.  We have designed and crafted monuments throughout the region.
RESPONSE.  We respond 24-hours at (855) 568-8228 or by email at [email protected]
CONVENIENCE.  We schedule when and where you like – weekdays, evenings, weekends.
CONFIDENCE.  We are Licensed with the Missouri Office of Endowed Care Cemeteries.
TRUST.  We maintain an Endowed Care Trust under our License.
COMMUNITY.  Our Cemeteries are family owned and locally staffed.
QUALITY.  We are the exclusive Authorized Dealer for “Rock of Ages” Granite.

CEMETERY MONUMENT Purchase Decision:  The design and purchase of a cemetery monument occurs infrequently and involves a significant investment of intellectual, emotional and financial resources.

Generally, we begin by organizing visual ideas of what style of monument is appealing to us.  Monument Sellers understand that design visuals are the most intriguing and interesting part of the process to consumers. Monument Sellers have beautiful photos, brochures and on-line images.  Next, most consumers are attracted to price.  Monument Sellers understand this and quote very economic pricing.  The process of gathering information about design concepts and pricing usually begins with the following steps:

1.   Noticing interesting monument concepts at a cemetery
2.   Seeing monument concepts in a brochure, often mailed directly to our home,from one or multiple Monument Sellers
3.   Gathering more monument concepts and pricing by contacting or visiting one or multiple Monument Sellers at their location
4.   Collecting more monument concepts and pricing through online keyword search (best results under: CEMETERY MONUMENT)


CEMETERY MONUMENT Evaluating Sellers:
Ultimately, there are three (3) types of Monument Sellers that design and produce cemetery monuments:
1.   Cemeteries,
2.  Funeral Homes,
3.  Monument Contractors

You ultimately purchase a cemetery monument from one of these Monument Sellers
- whether it is with direct communication with their local office and staff or through
their on-line website promotion.  Monument Sellers understand that design visuals and pricing are most intriguing and interesting to consumers, and will not necessarily, consistently and transparently, present this information in a way that is easy to compare.

Many of online design concepts are photos of monuments that can be transported to our local area, but that are actually in warehouses in other cities - sometimes outside of the United States.  These monuments can be priced and secured (brought to our local market for engraving and placement).  Alternatively, the design can often be recreated locally.

It becomes important, then, to gather and evaluate information regarding cemetery monument design concepts and pricing before deciding to complete a contract to purchase.  The information can seem overwhelming.

Equally important is gathering information and critically evaluating which Monument Seller will be engaged for the design:

REFERRAL – find referrals from individuals you trust who are honest and forthcoming about their actual Cemetery Monument experience
REVIEWS – locate DETAILED online reviews (keyword:  REVIEWS + MONUMENT SELLER NAME)
INTERVIEW – meet Monument Sellers at their location to discuss the following topics
(not a sales appointment, this is an interview)

a.    Ownership & Staffing - how many individuals, how many years, what responsibilities do individuals have
b.    Quarrying, Manufacturing & Finishing Processes & Facilities – what is accomplished Locally versus through Supply Partners
c.     Receive Samples of Written Warranties supporting Material and Performance from Monument Seller and/or Supply Partners
d.    Cemetery Monument Design Philosophy – what is consistently unique about what the Monument Seller offers

PORTFOLIO – ask Monument Sellers for name and location of the last three (3) monuments they placed in the cemetery of your choice
INSPECT – go see last three (3) monuments the Monument Sellers placed in cemetery of your choice
TESTIMONIAL – ask the Monument Seller to speak with clients from last three (3) monuments placed in cemetery of your choice

CEMETERY MONUMENT Process: Each of these three (3) types of Monument Sellers have direct relationships with granite quarries, bronze foundries and manufacturing facilities.  Once the Monument Seller contracts with a client, the Monument Seller will coordinate every detail of the process completely through to the setting of the monument on-site at Our Cemeteries.  It is important to evaluate not only the design of the monument and the price of the monument (generally the most alluring and intriguing topics at the outset) and to get specific regarding INCLUSIVE CONTRACT ITEMIZATION AND DETAIL LANGUAGE along with SPECIFIC UNDERSTANDINGS regarding processes and time frames below, so that everyone is aligned regarding expectations.

1.        Monument Seller signs contract client, including a detailed Design Sketch
2.       Monument Seller submits Design Sketch to Our Cemeteries for sitework review, approval and pricing
3.       Our Cemeteries review, approve and price Design Sketch (average of 21 days)
4.       Our Cemeteries are paid for professional services @ $1.25 psi
5.       Our Cemeteries are paid for endowed care contribution @ $.20 psi
6.       Our Cemeteries are paid for foundation preparation at $.50 psi
7.       Monument foundation preparation occurs according to Our Cemeteries specifications
8.       Monument Seller creates final Design Proof for client approval
9.       Client approves final Design Proof with Monument Seller
10.      Monument Seller forwards final Design Proof to quarry for quarrying, manufacturing, finishing, engraving
11.       Quarry packages completed monument for shipping to Local Monument Contractor according to Monument Seller instructions
12.      Local Monument Contractor receives packaged monument
13.      Local Monument Contractor schedules delivery and setting of monument
at Our Cemeteries

As determined by the Monument Seller, the Foundation Preparation will be accomplished by the cemetery or by a Local Monument Contractor in accordance with the cemetery specifications.  The Delivery and Setting of the monument will be always be accomplished by the Local Monument Contractor, selected by the Monument Seller, in accordance with cemetery specifications.  Prior to engaging in any work on-site a cemetery, the Local Monument Contractor (like all contractors engaging in work at cemetery), must have on-file with cemetery, a completed and signed copy of the Subcontractor Agreement (along with supporting, updated documentation), which includes references to specific limits of coverage regarding Workers Compensation, Commercial General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability and Indemnification.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:  Our professional services recover the time of our professional staff – management, superintendents, grounds, sales, customer service, bookkeeping – which is invested in delivering service related to monuments which clients purchase through other dealers.  Some of these services include:

1.    initial monument design conversations, proofs & pricing with multiple clients

2.    initial monument sitework pricing & specifications with multiple clients

3.    initial monument design conversations with multiple monument dealers

4.    initial monument sitework pricing & specifications with multiple monument dealers

5.    initial monument design submission review for multiple monument dealers

6.    final monument design response with selected monument dealer

7.    receipt and processing of payment by selected monument dealer or client

8.    conveyance to selected monument dealer of insurance & indemnification guidelines

9.    verification of monument dealer insurance & indemnification guidelines

10.  multiple client inquiries regarding timeframe for scheduling

ENDOWED CARE:  Our cemetery receives and makes the maximum contribution to our Endowed Care fund specifically for the care of monuments which are placed our locations, as allowed by Missouri statute RSMO 214.335.

FOUNDATION PREPARATION:  On two (2) days notice, the Local Monument Contractor may contact the Superintendent of Our Cemeteries to schedule a specific DATE and TIME on which the Local Monument Contractor intends to arrive at the cemetery to prepare the foundation, consistent with cemetery specifications.  The Superintendent will be on-site when this work occurs.  Rescheduling may occur on short-notice, as may be required by either party.  On the DATE and at the TIME of the scheduled work, the Superintendent will be prepared and waiting to:

1.       receive Local Monument Contractor
2.       review located monument site
3.       identify staging and parking area for trucks and automobiles
4.       confirm general understanding of foundation specifications
5.       discuss access to site for work, including boarding in, as necessary
6.       confirm use of light-weight equipment, small trailers, skid-steers, small tractors, turf tires, weight distribution
7.       confirm excavation to correct depth, length, width - with piers
8.       confirm removal of all dirt entirely from cemetery property
9.       confirm use of 5/8” minimum steel tied in bottom of excavation before concrete is mixed and poured
10.    confirm that framing has been prepared for the foundation top, to specs – level, flush or flush recessed
11.    confirm that water has been brought to the site
12.    confirm the use of consistent bag concrete mix used for the foundation
13.    confirm that the site is brought up to final grade at monument with seed and straw
14.    confirm that the site is left clean and neat
15.    confirm that the Local Monument Contractor will return within 24 to 48 hours to remove framing
16.    confirm that the site is brought up to final grade at monument with seed and straw
17.    once Local Monument Contractor has removed framing within 24 to 48 hours, Delivery and Setting may be scheduled

DELIVERY AND SETTING:  On two (2) days notice, the Local Monument Contractor may contact the Superintendent of Our Cemeteries to schedule a specific DATE and TIME on which the Local Monument Contractor intends to arrive at the cemetery to deliver and set the monument, consistent with cemetery specifications.  The Superintendent will be on-site when this work occurs.  Rescheduling may occur on short-notice, as may be required by either party.  On the DATE and at the TIME of the scheduled work, the Superintendent will be prepared and waiting to:

1.        receive Local Monument Contractor
2.       review located monument site
3.       identify staging and parking area for trucks and automobiles
4.       confirm general understanding of delivery and setting specifications
5.       discuss access to site for work, including boarding in, as necessary
6.       confirm importance and requirement to secure monument to foundation – at a minimum, using mortar
7.       confirm importance and requirement to use setting compound between all monument components
8.       confirm the importance of non-corrosive pinning on dramatically sloped foundations and extremely tall components
9.       confirm that the site is brought up to final grade at monument with seed and straw
10.    confirm that the site is left clean and neat


CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES at Oak Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens and St. Francois Memorial Park (Our Cemeteries):  Effective June 1, 2016

As caretakers of the history and the future of Our Cemeteries, we share our current CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES, effective October 1, 2016.
Kindest Regards, Brian May (President, [email protected])

1.       Only one (1) cemetery monument will be placed on a cemetery space
2.       A cemetery monument will be placed at the head of cemetery space – not at the foot
3.       A cemetery monument will be crafted from granite.

The following cemetery monument designs are permitted and currently supported under our CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES at Our Cemeteries:  mausoleums, obelisks, estate monuments, benches on bases, tablets on bases, slants on bases, pillows placed directly on the ground and markers recessed flush with the ground.  Other cemetery monument designs may be observed on-site at Our Cemeteries even though these designs are inconsistent and no longer supported by or allowed under these current CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES.

MAUSOLEUMS, OBELISKS and ESTATE Designs:  Mausoleums, obelisks and estate monuments require unique cemetery monument design considerations because of their unique dimension, finish, accessibility and location within the cemetery site.  These considerations are facilitated through conversation with Our Cemeteries.  Our professional staff is kind, honest, experienced, responsive, and knowledgeable – as the Rock of Ages Private Estate specialist in the Midwest.  You can see highlights of our mausoleum, obelisk and estate designs, here.  For one of our introductory brochures, download here.  Contact our staff to discuss designs, including private portfolios, custom designs, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monument designs at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected]For a brochure, you

BENCHES ON BASE, TABLETS ON BASE and SLANTS ON BASE Designs:  Cemetery monument designs for benches on bases, tablets on bases and slants on bases are located at the head of cemetery property at Our Cemeteries.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients – as the Rock of Ages Monument specialist in the Midwest.  You can see highlights of our bench, tablet and slant designs, here.  For one of our introductory brochures, download here.  Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

Benches, tablets and slants are designed to be placed on a base.  Bench pedestals and tablets are a minimum thickness of 8” stock granite material and slants are a minimum thickness of 10” stock granite material.  Bench pedestals, tablets and slants are a minimum width of 24” (centered at the head of 1 cemetery space), 36” (centered at the head of 2 cemetery spaces) and 48” (centered at the head of 3 cemetery spaces).  The height of the bench pedestal, tablet and slant will be proportionally designed in accordance with the width and thickness. 

The base height supporting the bench pedestal (no bench niche designs), tablet and slant is a minimum of 8”.  The base width and depth will be proportionally designed in accordance to the entire bench (noting that bench components, like the seat, should not extend beyond the dimension of the base), tablet or slant which is protected and supported on top, considering vase units (see discussion below) and limited by the width of the cemetery space(s) on which the base is being placed.  Many cemetery spaces are 40” wide and all cemetery monuments must “set-back” 2” from left and/or right edge of cemetery space and extend no more than 20” from head of cemetery space into cemetery space.  The sides of the base are “rock” finished (up to a 2” polished or tiffany margin may be created along the top of the sides).  On un-level cemetery sites (found throughout many areas of Our Cemeteries) base design will dictate heights taller than 8”, so that wide bases do not extend well into the ground (negating the protective feature of  ”rock” finishing) or well out of the ground (exposing foundation work).  Foundations for bases on benches, tablets and slants are prepared LEVEL, so that the benches, tablets and slants are permanently protected and supported.

PILLOWS ON GROUND and MARKERS RECESSED IN GROUND Designs:  Pillows and Markers are like blank canvasses that become meaningful sites for gathering, sharing and reflecting when professionally designed and placed at Our Cemeteries in memory of someone you love.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients – as the Rock of Ages Monument specialist in the Midwest.  You can see highlights of our pillow and marker designs, here.  For one of our introductory brochures, download here.    Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

Pillows and Markers are designed to be placed directly in contact with the ground.  Pillows are a minimum of 8” high at the front (dictating approximately 10” high at the back, dropping 2” to the front) with “rock” finished sides (up to a 2” polished or tiffany margin may be created along the top of the sides).  Markers are designed 4”thick with sawed sides and a polished top and are placed “recessed” into the ground so that the top of the marker is just above flush with the ground (high enough to prevent water and soil from washing over and settling on the marker – low enough that mowing equipment will not catch any portion of the memorial).  Pillows and Markers are prepared flush with the surrounding contour and terrain of existing property (they are not prepared level).  The engravable area for Pillows and Markers are designed with minimum width of 24” (centered over 1 space), 36” (centered over 2 spaces) and 48” (centered over 3 spaces).  From front-to-back, Pillows and Markers will be designed proportional to the width (no less than 12” and no more than 20”). Many cemetery spaces are 40” wide and all cemetery monuments must “set-back” 2” from left and/or right edge of cemetery space.

PHOTO Designs:  Photographs are the most popular cemetery monument request at Our Cemeteries.

Photographs are designed and crafted in bronze, ceramic or porcelain, warrantied by the manufacturer and permanently secured to the granite.  Photographs may also be designed and etched directly on black granite monuments.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients about photographs.  Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

VASE UNIT Designs:  Vase units are popular cemetery monument requests at Our Cemeteries for convenient, secure placement of decorations.  Vase units are designed and crafted in granite, bronze or aluminum, warrantied by the manufacturer and permanently secured to the granite.  Vase units are designed integral with the cemetery monument (vase units are not designed separately from the monument to be placed directly in the ground).  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients about vase units.  Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

BRONZE ON GRANITE MARKER Designs:  Bronze plaques, emblems and vase units are features that frequently adorn granite monuments at Our Cemeteries.  In particular, engraved bronze markers now feature full color images with extraordinary detail.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients about bronze features.  You can see highlights of our bronze memorial designs, here.  For one of our introductory brochures, download here.      Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

In the Garden of Memories, bronze plaques are crafted and secured to a granite base as a cemetery Marker for the monument.  The bronze plaque is designed with minimum width of 24” by 12” (centered over 1 space), 36” by 13” (centered over 2 spaces) and 48” by 14” (centered over 3 spaces) and secured to a granite base which is 4”thick with sawed sides, a polished top and shows a 2” border around the bronze.  Bronze on Granite Markers are placed “recessed” into the ground in such a way that the top of the marker is just above flush with the ground (high enough to prevent water and soil from washing over and settling on the marker – low enough that mowing equipment will not catch any portion of the memorial).  Many cemetery spaces are 40” wide and all cemetery monuments must “set-back” 2” from left and/or right edge of cemetery space.  At Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, a matching bronze vase unit is designed integral with the Bronze on Granite Marker and the Granite is specifically Mahogany.

VETERAN Designs:  Upon death, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers bronze plaques, bronze emblems and flat granite markers to eligible veterans who are interred at Our Cemeteries – or any other site where a veteran may be interred.  These styles (bronze plaques, bronze emblems, flat granite markers) may be incorporated into monument designs already mentioned.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients about memorials through the Veterans Administration - how they may be incorporated into cemetery monuments at Our Cemeteries - and has Veterans Administration paperwork on-hand to order this FREE memorials on behalf of the deceased Veteran.  When designing a monument with you, our office will order this FREE Veteran headstone for you.  Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected].

CREMATION Designs:  Cemetery monuments designed in accordance with all other details previously noted, may also be prepared with contemporary options to receive all or a portion of a cremated body as these options have now become more widely available and professionally designed and integrated into cemetery monuments by quarries and manufacturers.  Our professional staff is kind, experienced, knowledgeable and available for these conversations with clients – as the Rock of Ages Monument specialist in the Midwest.  You can see highlights of our complete line of cremation monuments, here.  For one of our introductory brochures, download here.    Contact our staff to discuss designs, including consultation, convenient purchase and warrantied placement of these monuments at (855) 568-8228 and [email protected]

There are several considerations regarding cremation designs as they are submitted for review, approval and pricing

1.    cremation design must not otherwise compromise the design standards previously mentioned
2.    cremation capacity must be minimum of 200 cubic inches in volume for each cremation anticipated to be placed
3.    cremation design must be accessible for placement and able to be safely secured following placement by our staff
4.    cremation placement will not be accomplished prior to delivery and setting of the monument
5.    cremation placement will be scheduled directly with our cemetery staff following delivery and setting of monument
6.    cremation placement charges will be paid at prevailing cemetery niche opening & closing rates based upon dates and times

HISTORICAL REPLICATION Design Submissions:  At Our Cemeteries, we are stewards of historical monumental architecture.  We respect and appreciate cemetery monument design submissions which are inconsistent with current CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES when these design submissions notably attempt to maintain or restore the historical integrity of monument design on a family lot by accurately researching and replicating cemetery monument design which was most likely to have been originally intended for the site.

We consider submissions for “historical replication”, as an exception to our CEMETERY MONUMENT DESIGN GUIDELINES, when

1.       all design details have been researched and provided
2.       a family lot has been clearly identified
3.       at least 50% of all cemetery monuments existing on the family lot share an “observable design concept” worthy of replication
4.       the specific cemetery monument chosen to replicate is the most likely design “originally intended for the site”
5.       design details of proposed replication are accurate in material, dimension, finish, carving, lettering and placement