Friends of the Cemetery

oakshadeThe Friends of Oak Shade Cemetery meet on a regular basis and assist Marion Parks and Recreation staff with seasonal clean up, perennial flower bed maintenance, headstone repairs, and genealogy and cemetery history research.

Our Mission

To preserve our historic cemetery and the memory of those interred there.

Join Us

To join the group or learn more, please contact Jay Kacena at  377-7709.

Become a supporting member with a tax-deductible annual contribution of $10 or more.

Friends of Oak Shade
Cemetery – Marion, IA
Vol 2 No 12 December 2016

SPEAKING OF VOLUNTEERS: Congratulations and compliments on another great year – soon to end with only cold December to finish. At the end of November, our logbook has recorded 626.5 volunteer hours of volunteer time contributed. With scheduled meetings and other planned activities yet, last year's 630 hours will easily be surpassed.

Believe it or not, there are many hours of work and good being done for our cause which are not included in the official record. One such contributor is PAT CARLSON. OK, so she is a paid, part-time employee of the Parks Department...never-the-less, Pat has the enthusiasm of a volunteer and sees her work as being about exactly that expressed in our mission statement: “preserving our historic cemetery and those who are buried there.” Working along with our super-volunteer and genealogy research expert, CARRIE ROBERTSON, Pat has updated and corrected hundreds of Oak Shade cemetery records while transferring thousands of files to a new computer database which the city purchased a couple of years ago.

And what makes Carrie such a “super-volunteer”? First and foremost, it is the fact that she is so skillful on her commuter. A dedicated genealogist, Carrie really knows her way around internet resources like online census records, newspaper archives and obituaries. She has not only enabled us to verify historic dates missing from some cemetery records – she frequently contributes stories about those people from articles which have appeared about them – bringing “life” to the genealogical outreach of our organization. In addition, walking through cemeteries is a hobby for her – she has uploaded more than 21.000 photographs of cemetery monuments around the country to the website, Thanks in large measure to Carrie, 97% of the 7,459 Oak Shade burials listed at Find-A-Grave have been photographed.

This would also be a good time for us to offer a THANK YOU to those corporate sponsors and individuals who have “volunteered” the financial support we have needed this year. In alphabetical order they were: John & Karen Clark-Hansen, Country Kitchen Cafe, Pat Klopfenstein, Jay Moore, Murdoch Funeral Homes, Novak & Brannon Memorials, Roland/Wilbert Vault Company and Stewart/Baxter Funeral and Memorial Services.

If you are not already involved in a continuing project going into 2017 – let me invite you to put us in your plans for next year. Remember that we are not just about Clean-up and Beautification of our cemetery, but also Genealogy, Military Matters, raising Money, Relationships with other cemetery groups, Publicity, Promotion and History. We meet formally on the 1st Friday of every month for an hour and throughout the year for projects on a group or individual basis. See our Friends of the Cemetery page at (drill down through Departments and Parks) and our Facebook page for more information.

Preserving our historic cemetery and the memory of those interred there.



cemetery volunteers at shed 



cemetery clean-up volunteers

 Nine of our 70 volunteers - join us!


 Spring clean up!


cemetery markers before


cemetery markers after

 Memorial recovery - before


 Memorial recovery - in progress


cemetery vegetation before 



cemetery vegetation after

 Vegetation control - before


 Vegetation control - after