St. James Memorial Garden: 20th Anniversary Reflection
In 1997, the idea of a memorial garden right next to the Church was discussed again after it had been considered by various individuals and groups earlier in the 80s and early 90s. Would this be just another pipe dream? No, this time a number of planners encouraged by Pastor Tony Danielson got to work, created a time-phased project plan, researched other memorial gardens affiliated with churches throughout the Northshore to learn from their mistakes and successes, drew up layouts with the help of Andy Otting, VP of Scott Byron landscaping, and presented the total plan to the Council and then to the congregation which approved it unanimously. We then obtained approval from the Village of Lake Forest and informed our immediate neighbors of our intention to build a garden for cremains interments to prevent any oppositions later. Nobody raised any objections. Financing was obtained by early subscriptions of interment sites and an internal loan from an endowment fund. All necessary preparatory steps were completed, we broke ground in June 1999 and the Garden was finished in late October offering a maximum, theoretical capacity of 288 burials. Since its inception I have been the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (except for a brief period in the early 2010s, when Al Albrecht was in charge) reporting to the Church Council.
Since then, 45 Church members subscribed sites of different sizes at the Garden, and 40 interments were completed. The prevailing thoughts are – and that includes me - how comfortable it is knowing that loved ones are resting close to the Church in a safe and beautiful place, and also knowing where our cremains will be put to rest once our time has come.
Sites of different sizes are still available. Please contact me or any of the Trustees with your questions.
God bless you,
Board of Trustees, Chairman