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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the gate close?

What is your policy for walkers and dog walkers in the cemetery?

What is the speed limit in the cemetery?

Are flowers allowed on the gravesite?

What is the difference between a perpetual Care Fund and Endowment Fund?

Are there rules about photography at Sewickley Cemetery?

Who can be buried in my family lot?

Does Sewickley Cemetery allow raised headstones?

Is Sewickley Cemetery owned by the Borough of Sewickley?

What does an “independent non-profit” cemetery mean to me?

Since the cemetery is in Sewickley, isn’t it more expensive?

Why is having a place to visit so important?

What is a columbarium?

May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?

Are donations to the Sewickley Cemetery tax deductible?

When does the gate close?

The cemetery gate opens at 6:00 am and closes at dusk.  We suggest all visitors pay attention to the constantly changing sunset time.  If you are in the cemetery after the gate closes you can call the Sewickley Heights Police Department for assistance at 412-741-5111.

Please be aware that during inclement weather, if the gate is closed it is for your safety as well as the safety of our workers. The closed gate means the cemetery crew is clearing the roads and need time to do a proper, complete job.

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What is your policy for walkers and dog walkers in the cemetery?

Walkers and pet walkers are permitted in the cemetery but please remember that this is an active cemetery. Be respectful of our families, friends and funeral processions.  We do not allow any dog, cat or other pet to run loose within the cemetery grounds.  Pet owners must keep their pets on a leash and please clean up after your pets. Walk at your own risk.

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What is the speed limit in the cemetery?

A speed limit of 20 MPH within the grounds must be observed to ensure the safety of visitors. While driving in the cemetery stay on the main roads and be respectful of visitors and funeral processions.  Please do not drive on the grass. Drive at your own risk.

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Are flowers allowed on the gravesite?

Only natural cut flowers or live plants will be permitted.  Artificial, dyed or otherwise preserved flowers, photographs, souvenirs, wreaths and flags are prohibited from March 15th until October 1st. Lot holders are permitted to plant flowers 12 inches in front of memorial stones during the summer season (roses are absolutely forbidden), but be advised that the deer will eat pretty much anything. (We recommend spraying flowers and plants with deer repellent. Contact the office for a list of recommended flowers and plants that deer are less likely to eat.)  Glass containers, wire holders, edging, marble or gravel in front of the stone is not permitted.  This creates a dangerous situation for cemetery workers.  The cemetery reserves the right to remove any plantings that become unsightly or items that are not permitted.

Flags, (pursuant to Federal Veterans Administration regulations) are permitted from May 31st until September 6th of each year.

During the winter months you are permitted to put out artificial flowers or wreaths, but they must be removed by March 15th.

The cemetery does offer for sale Christmas wreaths (ordered by September 1st) and Easter lilies or hyacinths (order by March 1st.)  Christmas wreaths will be placed on gravesites after Thanksgiving and the Easter flowers will be place on the last Thursday before Easter. If you are interested in ordering Christmas wreaths or Easter flowers, please contact the office by email at office@sewickleycemetery.com or call us at 412-741-4409.

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What is the difference between a Perpetual Care Fund and Endowment Fund?

A portion of the purchase price of each grave is contributed to a perpetual care fund. This is in accordance with a law mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  This fund addresses the general care and maintenance that can include cutting grass, regrading of graves, maintenance of water supply systems, roads, drainage, etc.

An endowment fund can be set up to generate income to address the special care needs of an individual or family plot. Participation is voluntary.  Please contact the office for additional information about setting up an endowment fund: office@sewickleycemetery.com or 412-741-4409.

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Are there rules about photography at Sewickley Cemetery?

Individuals are not required to get permission for the use of simple, hand held photography equipment.  We do ask however, that all visitors taking personal photographs be respectful of the landscape by adhering to our general rules and regulations.

Photography for any non-personal use does require written permission.  Please contact the cemetery office at least two weeks in advance.  Requests are approve on a case-by case basis.

Sewickley Cemetery is committed to protecting the privacy of those buried here as well as the living mourners that visit the graves of families and friends.  To respect these individuals, we ask that you do not take close-up photographs of names on monuments or allow names to be visible in photographs of monuments.

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Who can be buried in my family lot?

The original lot owner may give permission for burials in his/her lot. The cemetery suggests that future burial designations be recorded at the time of purchase. The cemetery staff is happy to assist you with ascertaining the rights of members of the family to be interred in older lots.

Contact us if you have any questions by email office@sewickleycemetery.com  or call 412-741-4409

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Does Sewickley Cemetery allow raised headstones?

Yes, Sewickley Cemetery encourages raised headstones for the artistic value and character they add to the cemetery. We are proud of the many distinctive stones erected in our cemetery, and we invite you to visit the cemetery to discover and enjoy the artistic carvings, statues, and etchings.

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Is Sewickley Cemetery owned by the Borough of Sewickley?

No, Sewickley Cemetery is an independent, non-profit organization created to maintain the cemetery and serve the community. We serve residents throughout the Ohio River Valley and beyond. Although we are proud of our location in Sewickley, and even though we maintain a good relationship with the Boroughs of Sewickley and Sewickley Heights, our ties and commitment are to the present and future lot holders. We are also not affiliated with any specific church or denomination. Sewickley Cemetery is a non-sectarian cemetery, open to members of all religious faiths.

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What does an “independent non-profit” cemetery mean to me?

Independent means that we are not part of any other organization or conglomerate. Decisions are made by the Board of Corporators. Non-profit means that we have no shareholders to share our revenues with, and all monies in excess of expenses stay in the cemetery for maintenance and improvement.

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Since the cemetery is in Sewickley, isn’t it more expensive?

No, Sewickley Cemetery has a variety of pricing options, and our prices are far below what you would expect considering the beauty, serenity and care that we offer. Sewickley Cemetery is a cemetery of incredible natural beauty and unparalleled care that truly must be seen to be appreciated. We invite you to tour the cemetery on your own, or contact us for further information. We do have some self-guided tours and information available to our visitors.

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Why is having a place to visit so important?

Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. The Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknowns and Vietnam “Wall” in Washington, D.C., are examples of memorialization which demonstrate that, throughout our history, we have always honored our dead. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. At Sewickley Cemetery we are providing a permanent resting place for the deceased, which is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains and fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization. If your loved one is not interred at our cemetery you can still memorialize them by placing an inscription on our memorial chapel wall.

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What is a columbarium?

A columbarium is a small structure constructed of numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains (“cremains”).

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May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?

Absolutely; in fact, we highly recommend pre-planning. See the Pre-planning tab for details.

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Are donations to the Sewickley Cemetery tax deductible?

Yes, provided they are not used solely to improve the lot of the donor. Sewickley Cemetery, like most non profits, operates under the Internal Revenue Service Code, Section 501(c)(13), which means that contributions are tax deductible by the donor subject to the above restriction. In 2005, we established the Sewickley Cemetery Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization allowing us to receive donations by other foundations and interested contributors. We suggest that all donations be made to the Sewickley Cemetery Foundation, whose stated purpose is to “solicit contributions for the preservation, maintenance and improvement of the Sewickley Cemetery.”

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