History of Cherokee Memorial
Park & Funeral Home
Founded in May, 1940 by local businessman R.L. Martin, Cherokee Memorial Park began as a private cemetery two miles south of Lodi. Its main entrance at the time was on Cherokee Lane, now known as Highway 99. Mr. Martin was a concrete contractor who believed that a memorial park-type cemetery (one that uses memorial markers level with the grass) would be best for the region. In 1942 he returned all of his stock to the company and filed to become a non-profit corporation. In 1948, after Mr. Martin suffered an automobile accident, Laurence P. West became the manager and, soon after, became president of the park until 1979, when ill health overcame him. In three-quarters of a century, there have been only 4 managers -- all local.
In 1998, the Board of Directors realized that, in order to serve the public more effectively, we needed a funeral home. We received our license operating permit on Dec. 23, 1998 and served our first family later that day.
Since that first service, we have transformed a simple warehouse building into a 16,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art, funeral home facility located a mile north of the park. In May 2017 we opened the doors of the Vineyard Chapel the beginning step of moving all of our staff into one location. The Vineyard Chapel is able to seat nearly 300 people in our beautiful facility. Two visitation room as well as arrangement offices allow us to service all our your funeral and cemetery needs all in one location.
With a few spaces left throughout Sierra View Mausoleum, we began selling the final phase of the Mausoleum in May of 2018 offering substantial discounts to those who understand the wisdom of planning ahead. This final wing we’ll begin building within the next 5-years. Thousands of new burial spaces, and the spectacular original bronze and stone "Wings of Freedom" sculpture add to the beauty of our Garden of Freedom, which includes more than a thousand cremation niches. We have installed three, hand-carved Italian marble angels overlooking the Garden of Angels, which also affords many cremation niches.
We are constantly at work making Cherokee Memorial among the most beautiful cemetery and funeral home facilities in northern California.