Cemetery Lot Sales and Maintenance

Due to the rapid growth of Willoughby Cemetery, many conditions have arisen which make it advisable to revise the cemetery regulations so that its advantages and beauty may be retained.

It is unlikely that any set of regulations could be devised which would meet with unanimous approval, but the rules and regulations which have been set up and are contained herein have been designed to meet a growing need and to provide the most practical means of maintaining, protecting and beautifying the Cemetery to the advantage of the general public and all lot owners.

It is the earnest desire of the City officials administering the Cemetery to cooperate with the general public, with all lot owners and the citizens of Willoughby in making our cemetery a real memorial and we believe that the citizenry on it s part will cooperate fully in carrying out the provisions herein set forth.


  • The term Cemetery as used in these regulations, is all land owned by or under the supervision and control of the City of Willoughby, or devoted exclusively to the interment of deceased persons, and all land hereafter acquired by the City of Willoughby for such purpose.
  • The term plot or grave shall apply to a space of sufficient size to accommodate on interment.
  • The term lot shall apply to more than one adjoining grave.
  • The term interment shall mean the permanent disposition of the remains of a deceased person by entombment, burial or inurnment.
  • The term memorial shall include a monument, marker, tablet, headstone, private mausoleum or tomb for family or individual use, tombstone, or facing on a crypt or niche.
  • The term headstone shall mean a memorial not exceeding (1) foot in width and two (2) feet length and flush with the ground.
  • The term monument shall mean any stone memorial which protrudes above ground level.

General Regulations

  • If any tree or shrub standing on any lot shall, by means of its roots, branches, or otherwise, become detrimental, dangerous or inconvenient to adjacent lots or walks, or if it becomes unsightly, the Sexton shall have the right and it shall be his duty, to remove the such tree or shrub, or any portion thereof as he shall judge best.
  • No turf may be removed for flower bed or other purposes without first obtaining the Sexton’s permission.
  • Glassware, boxes, baskets, shells, cardboard containers, or watering pots left on graves or lots at the city’s cemeteries is considered detrimental to the appearance of the Cemetery and the Sexton is directed to remove such articles from the graves and lots.
  • No person shall deposit anywhere within the Cemetery limits debris, rubbish or waste materials of any nature except that resulting from decoration or care of Cemetery lots. Such debris and waste material shall be deposited at places or in receptacles designated for such use.
  • The City of Willoughby will use reasonable care in engaging competent and experienced cemetery employees and in seeing that they do their work with customary carefulness, but it disclaims any responsibility for accident or damage to headstones, vases, monuments or whatever resulting from the ordinary hazards of Cemetery work.
  • Metal emblems may be placed on graves when permitted by the Sexton. Such emblem shall be removed when deemed advisable by the Sexton.
  • Undertakes and others, on entering and while within the Cemetery, will be under the control and subject to the direction of the Sexton and his assistants.
  • All materials brought to the Cemetery by Undertakers to be used during the funeral services shall be removed from the Cemetery on the same day on which services are held, during cemetery working hours.
  • The City of Willoughby and its employees will take all reasonable precaution to protect lot owners and the property rights of lot owners, within any of the City Cemeteries, from loss or damage but the cemetery distinctly disclaims all responsibility for loss or damage caused by the elements, an Act of God, common enemies, thieves, vandals, strikers, malicious mischief marker, explosions, unavoidable accidents, invasions, insurrections, riots or order of any military or civil authority, whether the damage be direct or indirect, other than herein provided.
  • All fees or charges for services are payable to the Cemetery office located in the Municipal Building at One Public Willoughby Ohio 44094. As stated, patrons of the cemetery are requested not to pay any fee or gratuity to any employee.
  • The rights to enlarge, reduce, replot or change boundaries or grading of the cemetery or a section or sections from time to time, including the right to modify or change the locations of or remove or regrade roads, drives or walks or any part thereof, are hereby reserved. The right to lay, maintain and operate or alter or change pipe lines or gutters or sprinkling systems, drainage, etcetera, is also expressly reserved, as well as is the right to use cemetery property not sold to individual plot owners for cemetery purposes, including interment of the dead, or for anything necessary, incidental or inconvenient thereto. The cemetery reserves to itself and to those lawfully entitled thereto a perpetual right to ingress and egress over plots for the purpose of passing to and from other plots.
  • Lots in the Cemeteries of the City of Willoughby are exempt from taxation and cannot be seized for debt, nor attached for or by any process at law, nor can they be mortgaged.
  • The City of Willoughby reserves the right to repurchase a lot when the owner has been granted permission to dispose of it.
  • The City of Willoughby distinctly disclaims any responsibility or liability for accident or damage to person or properly due to defects of machinery, implements, tools and equipment used in its work.
  • The Director of Public Service reserves and shall have, the right to correct any errors that may be made by him or the employees of the City of Willoughby, either in making interments, disinterment or removals, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property, either by cancelling such conveyance or any interment property and substituting any conveying, lieu thereof, other interment property of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may be selected by the Director of Public Service, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of said purchase. In the event such error shall involve the interment of the remains of any person in such property, the Director of Service reserves the right, and shall have the right, to remove or transfer such remains so interred to such other property of equal value and similar location as may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof.
  • Once a casket containing a body is within the confines of the Cemetery, no funeral director or his embalmer, assistant, employee or agent, shall be permitted to open the casket or to touch the body without the consent of the legal representative of the deceased or an order signed by a Court of Competent jurisdiction.

Ground Rules

  • Children may be excluded from the Cemetery at any time unless accompanied by an adult who will be responsible for their conduct.
  • No idling or loafing on the grounds or in any of the buildings.
  • It is not permitted to sit or stand upon monuments or markers.
  • Visitors shall keep to the walks and drives and shall not climb the banks or terraces.
  • Any person acting in a boisterous or loud manner or in any way improper to the sanctity of the grounds may be expelled by the Sexton.
  • All persons are reminded that the grounds are sacredly devoted to the burial of the dead and that the provisions and penalties of the law will be strictly enforced to keep it thus.
  • All persons are forbidden to wound, kill or capture any bird or animal within the limits of the Cemetery or to remove the young of any animal or eggs of any bird.
  • Visitors are prohibited from plucking any plants, whether cultivated or wild in any way, defacing the Cemetery grounds.
  • No dogs are allowed in the Cemetery
  • The Cemetery grounds are closed to everyone, except employees and other authorized persons during the hours of darkness. Violators of this provision are subject to arrest and prosecution.
  • No advertising, peddling or soliciting the sale of commodity or service within the Cemetery will be allowed.
  • Approaching the bereaved for the purpose of soliciting any business within the Cemetery is recognized as being in poor taste and, therefore, will not be permitted.
  • No bringing of firearms into the cemetery, except by a military escort accompanying a veteran’s funeral or attending memorial services.
  • No refreshments or liquors will be permitted on the grounds.

Special Decorations

  • Grave sites are to be cleaned of all decorations three times a year: March 1st, two weeks after Easter and November 1st.
  • Please allow two (2) weeks to be sure removal has been completed before placing new decorations on your gravesite. This will protect your new decorations from being accidentally removed. Items in an urn or on a shepherds hook will not be removed unless items pertain to a past holiday or they are deemed unkempt.
  • Major holiday decorations such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day or Halloween, etc. should be removed 14 days after the holiday.
  • During the grass mowing season, wreaths, Styrofoam crosses, shells, toys, metal designs, ornaments and statues will not be allowed.

Floral Decorations, Vases & Urns

  • Permanent urns may be placed in the Cemetery by obtaining permission of the Sexton, who shall be consulted as to their locations.
  • Hanging baskets shall be suspended from a single hook standard. Only one (1) hook per headstone is permitted. Wrapped or decorated hooks are not permitted. No tripods or pipe frames may be erected.
  • In order to maintain a neat appearance throughout the Cemetery, the Sexton may remove the plantings from any urn or basket, which becomes unsightly through lack of care.
  • When an urn remains implanted later than July 1st, or when it becomes worn out and dilapidated, it will be removed without further notice.
  • Potted plants will be permitted to remain on graves until the blossoms are dead, when they then they will be promptly removed.
  • Cut flowers may be placed on any grave. All withered and faded cut flowers will be removed when lots are mowed.
  • Flowers placed on a grave at the time of burial will be removed at the discretion of the Sexton, and in no case except in winter will they be left longer than five (5) days.
  • All floral baskets, designs, and wreaths will be removed when they become unsightly and upon request may be stored at the cemetery office for a time not to exceed ten (10) days. If not called for within this time, they will be otherwise disposed of.


  • No headstone may be erected or placed in the Cemetery unless specifications, plans, and location have first been submitted to and approved by the Service Director.
  • All headstones shall be set in line as prescribed by the Sexton.
  • The Sexton shall have the authority to inspect the setting of any headstone, and if improperly done, order the resetting of same. Cemetery drawings indicated all locations.
  • All headstones upon a lot shall be uniform in material, color, form and size.
  • After a headstone has been placed in the Cemetery, it may not be removed without written permission of the Sexton and the Service Director.
  • Markers with porcelain or other photographs inserted are not permitted, nor are any grotesque, freakish or unusual design, ornamentation or size.
  • No headstones or materials used in connection with same may be brought into the cemetery on Sundays or general Holidays and all work thereon shall be done within Cemetery working hours.
  • Boxing, crating, packing materials and all other debris brought in by the stone contractor shall be removed and the completed work shall be cleaned before leaving the job.
  • For the best interest and protection of the lot owner, memorials, even for temporary us of cement, artificial stone composition, wood, tin or iron shall not be permitted. No type of rock or stone material can be used to boarder headstones.
  • Headstones made of marble or sandstone will not be permitted in the Cemetery. The only exception being government headstones of veterans.
  • In order to prevent error and to protect lot owners, it is the responsibility of memorial dealer to see that all inscriptions are correctly inscribed on the headstone.
  • The purchase of lots shall be arranged through the Sexton of the Cemetery, or his authorized representative, who will show the lots which are for sale.
  • When a new section of the Cemetery has been plotted and prepared for sale, the price of lots will be fixed by the City Council.
  • The deed to a lot conveys only burial rights and the title to the land remains in the City of Willoughby.
  • In general, all lot sales are of cash and the bill is payable at the time of purchase. Anyone wishing to purchase a lot must pay (as a minimum) fifty percent down, with the balance due within ninety (90) days. The Cemetery lot cannot be used unless the total price has been paid. If anyone wishes to avail themselves of these terms, they must sign a statement to this effect that they will pay, in full, within ninety (90) days or the lot can be resold and any money paid on this lot will be forfeited.
  • Single graves are sold only for a cash payment, payable before the interment is made.
  • No Monument or marker of any kind, or any foundation can be erected upon any lot until the purchase price of the lot is fully paid.
  • Interment in a lot will be permitted for the owner of the lot named as the grantee in the deed, and for his immediate family, and heirs, and for such other person or persons as may be so designated in writing to the Sexton by the lot owner during his lifetime. However, the burial of any person other than the lot owner, and his immediate family and heirs, may be refused, notwithstanding the written designation by the lot owner, if the lot owner accepts or agrees to accept any compensation or payment for granting the right to such burial. Upon the death or judicially declared incompetence of a lot owner, it is the duty of any person or persons, having the right of burial upon the lot under the terms of the deed thereto and the Cemetery rule to file with Sexton competent proof of their right to the use of a lot, and further burials upon the lot may not permitted until such proof is presented.
  • As the deed to a lot conveys only the right of burial therein, the City of Willoughby retains control and supervision of all lots which have been sold, and it shall be the duty of the Sexton to enter upon any lot and prohibit, modify, or remove any structure, object, adornment, or improvement on such lot which may have been placed thereon in violation of Cemetery rules or which may be considered in the Sexton’s judgment to be objectionable or injurious to the lot, or adjoining lots or to the general appearance of the Cemetery.
  • The Cemetery will not be responsible for any order given by telephone or for any mistake occurring from the want of precise and proper instructions as to the particular space, size of grave and location in a lot, where interment is desired.
  • The Cemetery will not be liable for the interment permit nor for the identity of the person sought to be interred.
  • Burial of a casket of a wooden type or paper mache will not be allowed without a steel or concrete vault.
  • All orders for interments in lots must be signed by the owners of the lot or his legal representative.


  • The number of interments which may be properly made on a lot is definitely fixed at the time of purchase and no more will be permitted. In order that uniformity may be sustained, the Sexton will determine the location of graves on a lot.
  • Only one body will be allowed in a grave, except for a baby or cremation remains and by special permission of the Sexton. A single adult grave space may be used for burial of up to four (4) cremated remains provided all remains are of the same family.
  • No interments of two or more bodies shall be made in one grave, except in the case of mother and child, or two infants buried in one casket.
  • Except in cases of emergency, twenty-four (24) hour notice is required, for the preparation of a grave. Interments on Saturdays, Sundays, or general Holidays are not desirable and an additional fee will be required.
  • No interment may be made unless the body is accompanied by a burial permit (usually procured by the Undertaker).
  • No body except that of a human being may be interred in this cemetery.
  • Interment charges are due and payable when the order is given and includes opening and closing of the grave only.
  • All funeral processions, while within the Cemetery, will be under the exclusive control of the Sexton, or his authorized agent.
  • Every adult interment shall be made in an outer container or vault of either stone, steel or concrete.
  • When instructions regarding the location of a grave on a lot cannot be obtained, or are indefinite, or for any reason, the grave or graves cannot be opened where specified, the cemetery may open in such location on the lot as deemed best and proper, so as not to delay the funeral.
  • In the event a grave is opened adjacent to an adjoining lot and it has been impractical to protect the adjacent grave from any damage, the cemetery disclaims responsibility for such damage.


  • The right is reserved by the Director of Public Service to insist upon at least one (1) weeks notice prior to any disinterment or removal.
  • Disinterments will be made upon Court order or permission to make disinterments not ordered by the Court will be given upon written order of the lot owner, or surviving wife or husband or children if of legal age, or parents of deceased (in the order stated), providing however, such disinterment is not made for profit or other reasons considered improper by Cemetery authorities.
  • No disinterment will be made until all State regulations and rules of the local health authorities have been complied with. If the relocation of the remain of a deceased person is deemed advisable by the Cemetery authorities such relocation may be made by the Sexton and assistants upon Court order or written permission from nearest surviving relative, or except as hereinafter provided.


  • Deeds shall be issued on all graves. The ownership of a deed to a lot does not confer the right to sell such a lot or any portion thereof. Such sales, transfers or assignments are privileges which may be granted or refused by the City of Willoughby after due investigation.

Lots & Relocations

  • Lots of various sizes are available within the cemetery and hence, no lot will be subdivided.
  • No person may own or purchase any more than four (4) graves without the specific authorization of the Director of Public Service.

Perpetual Care

  • All sections of the Cemetery are set aside as perpetual care sections. Upon the sale of lots in these sections, the purchaser is required to pay in cash, in addition to the price of the lot, the amount designated in the schedule of Charge and Fees on file in the Finance Director’s office and as provided by the agreement, covering the perpetual care of such lot.
  • This sum shall be held in trust by the City of Willoughby, Ohio as a permanent Trust Fund and the interest or income therefrom shall be used for the Perpetual Care of the Cemetery. The principal can be invested at the discretion of the Finance Director or as allowed by law.
  • Perpetual care shall include the mowing of lots and filling of depressed graves.
  • In the cost of work stipulated in the trust agreement is less than the income, then the excess income may be utilized for doing such work, at the cemetery, as me be deemed advisable by the sexton.

Traffic Rules

  • Parking or leaving any motor car or vehicle on any road or driveway within the cemetery at such locations or in such positions as to prevent any other car or vehicle from passing is prohibited. If so parked or left, the supervision will be forced to have the same removed.
  • Making a complete or partial reverse turn of any motor car or vehicle on any road or driveway within the cemetery is prohibited.
  • Entrance to the Cemetery shall be made only by the walks and drives maintained by the Cemetery for this purpose.
  • The walks and drives in the Cemetery shall not be used as thoroughfares or public highways. Motorcycles or bicycles will not be permitted in the cemetery.
  • There shall be no driving over the lawns or on the walks under any pretense whatever and where damage occurs there from the driver of the vehicle shall be required to make good such damage.
  • The speed of vehicles is limited to fifteen (15) mile per hour.
  • Trucks exceeding 1-½ tons capacity may enter Cemetery grounds only by permission of the Sexton. Drivers of vehicles are cautioned not to pass close to funerals while services are being held.
  • Visitors on foot have the primary use of the drives and vehicle drivers are required to respect this right by careful driving and a strict adherence to rules.
  • Visitors are reminded that unnecessary use of the Cemetery drives entails a large expense upon the Cemetery for their maintenance. The privilege to drive thereon should not be abused.


  • Employees of the cemetery are not permitted to do any work for lot owners except upon orders for the Sexton, but are required to be civil and courteous to all visitors.
  • No Cemetery employee shall use his position with the Cemetery in fostering the purchase of materials (sold by private firms or individuals) which are to be used on ay City property, from the sale of which materials said employee shall receive compensation or profit.
  • No employee of the Cemetery will be allowed to take any payment from any person other than the proper officers of the cemetery for any work done or to make or be interested in ay contract to do work whatever upon the grounds.
  • Any employee violating the foregoing regulations shall be subject to immediate dismissal.

Baby & Adult Graves

Due to the limit of space available, the following rules concerning baby and your adult grave sizes must be observed.

  • Baby graves shall be no longer than forty-eight (48) inches in length. This includes burial at foot of adult grave, as well as in the baby section.
  • There shall be only one (1) burial per grave space in the baby section, unless in cases where there are two babies in one casket (such as stillborn twins).
  • Young adult graves shall be from forty-eight (48) inches to seventy-two (72) inches in length.
  • Baby graves in the baby section may be sold for the burial of the cremated remains of adults provided however, that no more than two (2) cremated remains be buried on any one (1) grave space.

Burial of Poverty & Indigents

  • When a body of a dead person is found in the City and such dead person was a legal resident of the City and was not an inmate of a correctional, benevolent or charitable institution of this State and the body is not claimed by any person for private interment of cremation at the person’s own expense, the City will pay the cost of cremation.
  • If the dead person was a legal resident of a township or municipal corporation in Lake County at the time of death, the City shall cause the body to be cremated and will bill the township or municipal corporation in which the person had a legal residence for its cost.


  • It is the duty of the Service Director to see that the rules and regulations are obeyed, and it is his duty to see that order is maintained and to promote the best interest of the cemetery. To that end, he is authorized to make temporary additional rules which may be needed, from time to time, to meet emergencies which are not covered by these rules and regulations.
  • Copies of these rules and regulations are to be made available, upon request, to the Funeral Director, families of the bereaved, and citizens and employees of the City of Willoughby. Requests shall be directed to the Director of Public Service.
  • All rules and regulations heretofore adopted which are contrary to or conflicting with those herein published, are rescinded and declared void with the exceptions of those applying to the Willoughby Cemetery which, if rescinded and declared void, would cause unusual hardship or unnecessary expense to the plot owners or the City of Willoughby. The judgment in these cases will be left to the Sexton and the Service Director.