Sunday, March 12, 2006

Woodlawn Cemetery Honors Rosa Parks

Woodlawn Cemetery Honors Rosa Parks

DETROIT -- March 11, 2006

Statement from Woodlawn Cemetery:

“The Woodlawn family feels very strongly that Mrs. Parks’ final resting place should be a secure and dignified environment where generations can come to revere her memory. It was to honor Rosa Parks, and only to honor her, that we dedicated the mausoleum as the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel. We regret that the misinformation contained in recent news stories has caused additional heartache and pain to her family and to all who revere this great woman.”

Background

To honor the legacy of Rosa Parks, Woodlawn Cemetery and its parent company Mikocem, LLC, dedicated a mausoleum and donated crypts and entombment services for Mrs. Parks, and for her husband and mother who were buried elsewhere in the cemetery.

Woodlawn originally presented a proposal to dedicate the chapel and donate crypts in 2004.
Three days after her passing, the legal representatives of her estate graciously accepted the offer. It was the Cemetery’s understanding that Mrs. Parks’ family was consulted, and offered an opportunity to purchase crypts in the chapel.

In the week before her funeral, Woodlawn Cemetery made major upgrades and enhancements to the chapel necessary for a person of Mrs. Parks’ stature. Most importantly, a high-level security system was installed, allowing the chapel to be open to visitors wanting to revere her memory. Additionally, the chapel was painted and new carpet, improved lighting, benches and monuments were installed. The area was landscaped, trees were cut down and roads were patched. A major underground upgrade to the electrical system is underway.

Mikocem donated crypts, disinterment and entombment fees and bronze inscriptions for the Parks family, and is absorbing more than $60,000 in renovation costs. Also, they are staffing the chapel when opened to provide additional security.

Although the crypts in the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel have never been marketed, a private party contacted Woodlawn expressing interest in the seven remaining couch crypts near Mrs. Parks. They understand they will benefit from the recent enhancements, and are honored to have this opportunity to support these efforts.

Built in 1895, this structure was renovated in 1999 to serve as a mausoleum and has 10 couch crypts (the last remaining crypts of this prominence in the cemetery), 60 single crypts, and a seating area for services.

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