14 Mayors – of One City

videos & photos of Edmonds Memorial Cemetery Tour

One need humans share no matter what language you speak or what country you live in, is the need to feel important.

One of Dale Carnegie’s classics says it like this, “Lincoln once begin a letter saying, ‘Everybody likes a compliment.’ William James said, ‘The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’ He didn’t speak remind you, of the ‘wish’ or the ‘desire’, or the ‘longing’ to be appreciated. He said the ‘craving’ to be appreciated. Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and “Even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies.”

Think about your day for a moment. Are you looking forward to interactions with others? Or a task that brings you to smile? If you explore your connection to the thought-in-focus, it can lead to a part of your personality that you find value in. A part that ties ego to reality.

There, in that connection is a way that helps you feel important. Knowing that you matter to someone be it a group, an organization, an industry, a family or an individual is vital to our inherent social nature.

If the thought of a lone mountain man comes to mind or a monk, a silent nun – then think of this; they still have ecosystems that they are interactive with. A lone mountain man will still have animal neighbors. A silent monk or nun will have group dining as a part of their social activities. We all want to feel important for a reason.

It is with that thought we found ourselves in the final resting place of over 7 thousand people including 14 City Mayors of Edmonds, Washington, USA. Edmonds Memorial Cemetery

The chances of being in the same space as 14 City Mayors is unlikely to happen for most of us at any point. Here is your opportunity. A great way to begin is by stopping in to the office to say, “Hello.”

A tiny garaged house sits on the far end of the lot. There isn’t many parking spots so we pulled up on the grass behind the service truck. No, signs! Hope I don’t upset the groundskeeper.

Around the side of the house is a humble door that leads to a narrow hallway. This is the office entrance and the first thing you see upon entry is a placard giving the history of the big maple tree a few hundred yards from the entrance.

It is quite a large maple now that I’m paying attention to it. Larger than most in this region. As I was looking up at the tree I was happy for a dry 60*s day. Although cloudy, we wouldn’t need to worry about mud or rain on the media equipment. I’m learning how to use my Sony A6000 dual macro lens.

As I exited the office post pleasantries with the nice office lady, the cemetery Sexton Cliff Edwards pulled up on the landscaping buggy. Asking him if he had a favorite grave or recommendations on which to visit brought a round of giggling. “No, I work here, I don’t have a favorite. They’re all the same to me. That over there is the only site with a fence around it.”

He was referring to the grave of George Bracket as he was pointing with an extended arm. George was the founder of Edmonds and the very first Mayor. He put in the first post office, waterworks and grocery store.The brochure says that he brought the lumber by boat up from Seattle to be able to build his house. Here is a photo of the grave image for this pioneer. Life back then would be like living on a different planet to me. His hat pictured is the iconic pioneer hat! Yosemite Sam anyone?

Cliff was cordial and nursing a broken leg. I didn’t want to take him up on his offer to tour guide for us. Later we crossed paths at the columbarium when he was escorting another guest. I wondered if the guest was a widow or if she had family here. Those crutches are getting good use I bet. He’s an active one!

The columbarium is built into the corner of the lot along the street where you drive in. It’s an uppercase “L” shape with a fountain in the corner. Definitely my favorite place to visit here. Wheelchair ramp accessibility included is so nice.

click to see FOUNTAIN video

The columbarium has space for more people still. It is a stately corner of the cemetery. I practiced using my drone to take videos and next I’ll need to practice how to make sure it’s recording. Le sigh! Looking forward to seeing future drone footage at more sites we tour.

Miss M had the map as navigator. We located several of the graves on the map. There were a few we could not find it all! Some of the stories were so interesting. There is every part of the spectrum of life represented in the collection of stories on the brochure and site inscriptions.

Cliff was telling us about how some of the elementary school children will come for history field trips. Some of the teachers had made a paper game where they could find the grave to find the dates and fill them in on their sheets. This is an incredibly good way to engage your children with a topic tough like this one.

One grave I found specifically because of the last sentence in the brochure’s story for him, Fred Fourtner 1876-1965. He owned a cigar store, movie theater, downtown building and hardware store. Definitely a business man. But the last line in his story was what he was known for. It still inspires a chuckle every time I read it. “He was mayor for 18 years and was known for sleeping through City Council meetings.”


(From official site)

Founded in 1891, the edmonds memorial cemetery & columbarium began on four acres of land donated to the I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) Lodge No. 96 by Thomas E. White, an early settler. At that time Edmonds was a small mill town. The cemetery site was enlarged in 1904 and 1908 and once comprised about 8 acres. In 1946 the cemetery was sold to a succession of private individuals until 1982 when Larry Hubbard, a longtime Edmonds resident, purchased the cemetery and willed it to the City of Edmonds, which now maintains its upkeep. The current cemetery size is about 61 /2 acres. In 1972 the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery was placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places. There are presently over 7000 people buried in the cemetery, including 14 former Edmonds mayors, 400 veterans of six different wars and many Edmonds pioneers. We invite you to take this self-guided tour to learn a little more about the history of the people who helped shape Edmonds into the town that it is today.

Visitors are welcome anytime between dawn and dusk. _______________________

There are 2 events open to the public and free every year worth marking on your calendar if you are in the area.

Official site info: Cemetery Events
The Cemetery Board, an advisory committee comprised of local volunteers, organizes two public events a year: a Memorial Day observance held annually on Memorial Day and the “Walk Back in Time” open house held on the third Thursday of July. Both events are free and held at the cemetery.

Another point of interest is the ossuary. The background is neat as well. The site where the cemetery well used to be was turned into an ossuary and now can be selected as a way to scatter ashes in the vault. It displays a large granite memorial marker for names. During a ceremony they open the lid of the vault and an individual will pour the cremated remains into the granite above ground hexagon cylinder.

If you visited Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, what would you want Cliff to show you first? Let me know.

Post by: Holly Berry

Photos/videos by: Holly Berry

_________________________________________On the web: Free Obituary – BeyondTheDash.com

“Beyond the Dash is a digital space for families and loved ones to remember the dashes of precious loved ones who have passed away. Whether or not the death was recent, it’s always appropriate to share the story of a person who made an impact on you. Once your story is published online, you can share it with family and friends, and invite these loved ones to contribute photos and memories to the growing digital memorial.

Thinking of someone? Create a free obituary on Beyond the Dash today.”

Wear all white

Photos by: Matt Barnes

Acceptable colors to wear at work are black, gray and navy blue. The professional staff will wear the occasional white or light blue business shirt under their dark suit jackets. Some sassy authority bucking interns will try red and other colors.

As the years have progressed my wardrobe slowly became more and more business and dark earth tones. It’s just easier to mix and match leisure or active wear with work shirts for example, if the color scheme is the same.

To be honest I’ve been sporting around my lightweight black hiking quick dry pants at work lately. I really like how versatile they are. I can be in a morning meeting at 9am and on a forest path by dinner without having to change them.

I remember buying and wearing my first formal business suit and how awkward it felt. Like a costume. It took a year or so before I wasn’t highly aware of it.

Fast forward to now, it’s part of the usual, like clockwork and not a second thought. So, one morning in the few moments of deciding what to go with for the day (on a day off of work) my desire for some balance lead me to a completely white monotone outfit.

I even had some white sports shoes in a back drawer. This was risky since I’m not that agile and for a bit I was wondering if I just shouldn’t even eat or drink in this experiment.

But as luck would have it I completed an errand day without incident. My Doc even dished and was telling me about his “retirement” wardrobe that consisted of clothes like my white outfit and khaki. Very beach friendly.

I thought he was on to a great idea. What better way to help tell your brain that it’s your time to relax? We wear specific clothes for events, why not have “day off” or “retirement” be as important as work and sports when it comes to clothes?

Yeah, sweats and a t-shirt kind of count. But I want something that I can go out in public wearing and feel good about it.

So began my habit of wearing all white sometimes.

Do you have a quirky style habit that is influenced by your career or industry? I’d be happy to hear about it.

An undertaker’s top hat: I like how in the UK Funeral Directors will wear top hats. ‘Paging’ (walking at the head of the cortege) at a funeral is also something that would be formal and add to the ceremony. I have yet to experience either as I haven’t seen them done in WA state (where I am) yet.

Or if there was, it was performed by military, police or other fraternities.

An older Funeral Director did bequeath a real top hat to me at work. I keep it on a shelf near my desk just in case. It inspires a smile when I look at it.

In the web: Death Over Dinner

In the web: Emergency Responder Funeral Directors

By: HollyBerry

You Are Not Alone

Do you know a Funeral Director? Have you ever met one? Until I researched and obtained my internship in the mortuary industry I didn’t know anything about Funeral Directors.

I didn’t know that a Funeral Director could cry. Sometimes your Funeral Director cries with you.

Similar to First Responders, Funeral Directors are the pillar of strength in the midst of chaos. Remembering that tears are healthy too, is a balanced way to navigate.

The first time I witnessed this was during my internship. I was assisting a Funeral Director with an open casket church service that was to be followed by a burial at a local cemetery not far away, Woodlawn Cemetery.

Of note: Woodlawn is one of the private cemeteries that allows Green Burials as of this post.

Slavic funerals I have worked generally include embalming, an open casket church service, MANY extra large floral easels, family photos with the casketed deceased and burial services the same day. The funeral songs are amazing to me and, “go straight to your bones” as my coworker said that day.

You can here what I heard here: (audio file link) Google Drive

I was looking forward to the outdoors of the cemetery and the breeze. It was sunny and dandelion fluff was floating like snow. When I walked by an Andromeda bush the small flowers smelled like honey.

After the church service the Funeral Director waited for a cue from the family. In a couple minutes she was instructed to close the casket. This was a metal sealing casket. It was the middle of a hot Seattle summer and I was sweating in my suit, trying to remember to flex my legs and not lock my knees. I melt over 80*s F.

The way I was taught to close a casket when part of the ceremony can be described as formal, respectful, slow, and deliberate. Take time to carefully fold the overlay and extendover.

The sister of the deceased burst out in sobs and rushed up to the pulpit area where the casket was being closed. She was not ready to see the lid close over her sister. She clung a bit to the Funeral Director and the Funeral Director hugged her back.

The Funeral Director, my coworker kindly opened the casket and re-adjusted the extendover. As she walked over to where I was standing at-the-ready her head was bowed. Once she met me and raised her head to wait with me until the family was ready, I saw tears running down her cheeks.

She said, “I try not to cry but she really reminded me of my sister and I. That got through.”

By: HollyBerry

Link to video of Holly of “Acts of Compassion

On the web: From another female funeral director

Grief support group: http://www.griefanonymous.comhttp://www.griefanonymous.com

About the location photographed: Palm Royale Cemetery is one of Collier County’s cemeteries. It was established in the spring of 2001 on 25 acres in the North Naples area, Florida. Palm Royale offers a variety of options including ground burial with traditional upright granite memorial, above ground entombment, and options for cremated remains.

By: HollyBerry