Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My loved one just passed. What’s the first step?

A: If your loved one is at a care facility or hospital, make sure Cherokee Memorial is listed as the preferred mortuary. Once called, our transport staff will coordinate a transfer time. Our transport staff is available 24 hours a day. We will transport your loved one back to Cherokee Memorial, and a Funeral Director will reach out to schedule an arrangement appointment with the person in charge of arrangements. If your loved one has passed after hours, a Funeral Director will reach out the following morning.

Q: What is going to happen at the arrangement appointment for my loved one?

Your Funeral Director will gather the information necessary to process the Death Certificate and required permit for disposition. They will also coordinate and assist with planning memorial or funeral services, down to the last detail. Depending on the type of service and details to be discussed, your arrangement appointment may take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Things to bring to the appointment: clothing, Veteran’s Discharge papers (DD214), photo of your loved one, and vital information including social security number.

Q: When will I get my death certificates?

A: When ordered from Cherokee Memorial, certified death certificates usually arrive at our office within 2-3 weeks. Delays in death certificate availability may occur depending on many circumstances. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the death certificate process. See your Funeral Director for more information on how to prevent delays when ordering death certificates.

Q: What are your office hours?

A: Cemetery Office is open 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday.
Vineyard Chapel is open 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Funeral Home is open 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and Saturday and Sunday – By Appointment Only

Q: How long is the cremation process? When will you start the cremation?

A: The cremation process cannot begin until we have received a Disposition Permit from the state of California. This can take 3-5 working days to procure. We work closely with your loved one’s Doctor and with the Public Health department to reduce delays. Once the cremation process begins, an average cremation may take up to 3 hours. Other internal processes must be complete as well for us to be able to release the urn to the authorized person, which can take up to 48 hours. If you’re concerned about delays with cremation, notify your Funeral Director.

Q: My loved one made arrangements ahead of time with you, why do I need to come in for an appointment?

A: Your loved one is very smart, and well prepared! Your loved one provided us with death certificate information and final disposition wishes. We must ensure that all the information we have on file is still current. Also, many times the pre-planning process involved your loved one’s purchase of a Funeral Insurance Policy. In order to submit a claim on the funds to complete your loved one’s wishes, we need to have the family in charge review these plans and authorize the claim. And of course, we like to have you come in to confirm we are following your loved one’s wishes exactly as they (and you) wish!

Q: Why can’t we leave flowers and decorations on our graves longer?

A: In order to maintain the beauty of Cherokee Memorial Park it is necessary for us to mow
the grounds weekly. In doing so it is necessary for you to remove the decorations from
your gravesite. Decorations and flowers not removed by you will be removed by
Cherokee Memorial staff and disposed of so the mowers can freely move about the

Q: Where can I get a Holiday Flower Pickup Schedule?

A: It is available in our Main Office or Vineyard Chapel on the Cemetery grounds. It is also available by clicking here (PDF). 

Q: What is the cost of a funeral and casket?

A: Our general price list for funerals, cremations and casket price lists are located at the bottom of home page of our website. We have several funeral packages to choose from. Families can personalize their funerals to meet individual needs and preferences (religious, cultural and family traditions). We have a late selection of quality caskets at affordable prices. When pre-arranging your funeral service and casket at the same time you receive a $600 discount off of the funeral service of your choice.

Q. There is grass growing over my marker, don’t you ever trim?

A. Trimming around markers is an ongoing job. We have staff on the trimmers weekly. At
peak times of the year (prior to Memorial Day) our goal is to have all of the markers
trimmed before the holiday. It’s takes about two weeks to trim the entire Park along
with outside help and Cherokee Memorial staff. On average your marker will be
trimmed about 7 to 8 times per year.

Q. How many items are allowed on a gravesite?

A. Gravesite tributes and decorations are limited to 6 items per grave space. The six
decorations must be no further than 18 inches from the east side of the marker and be
no more than 18 inches high. Food and drinks left at gravesites are subject to immediate
removal by our staff.

Q. Are there items not allowed on the gravesite?

A. Yes, they include alcohol, firearms, ammunition, items used to outline graves or markers
such as wire and wooden fences, flowers, candles, rocks, garland or other items are not
permitted and will be removed. Click to view more information (PDF)

Q. Mylar balloons have wonderful messages, such as “happy birthday”. Are mylar balloons

A. No! These foil-type balloons can cause power outages when released and become
entangled in power lines. When found they will be removed immediately.

Q. How do I locate a loved one in the cemetery?

A. Phone us, stop by our office or email us at with the person’s first and last name and we will assist you in locating the gravesite.

Q: What are the Memorialization Requirements?

A: Cherokee Memorial has strict specification requirements regarding grass level markers and upright monuments. There are five primary requirements: size (width, length, thickness and height); type of material (limited to bronze and granite); orientation when set on the grave space; placement of names on companion markers that are set across two grave spaces; and approval by the legal next of kin.

Q: When do the Gates Open and Close at the Cemetery?

A: Main Gate at Vineyard Chapel (Daily) 
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (March – October)
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (November – February)

All Other Gates
 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Daily)

Q: Can I make a Cemetery payment online?

A: No, but we can take a credit card over the phone by using your Visa, MC, Discover, American Express or Debit Card.  Also, for your convenience, we can set up an ACH Debit withdraw to match your financial payment plan for your cemetery property.  Call us for details.


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