11 December 2008

Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego

Greenwood Memorial Park and Mortuary is located at 4300 Imperial Avenue in San Diego CA 92113 (take the Imperial Avenue exit East from I-15, or the Imperial Avenue exit West from I-805), three miles east of downtown San Diego (take State 94 east to south Interstate 805). The cemetery is visible from south Interstate 805. The cemetery gates open at 7:30 a.m., the mausoleum at 8 a.m., and the mortuary and cemetery offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The office phone number is (619) 264-3131. Greenwood has a web page at http://www.dignitymemorial.com/4615/LocalHome.aspx .

Greenwood was opened in 1907, and is situated on 117 lovely acres with attractive trees, seasonal flowers and well-kept landscaping. The park includes three lakes, veterans’ features, the Lifesharing Hero's memorial, a Canadian Legion monument, the large Cathedral and Bible mausoleums, and a historic section. Other than the monuments, the Serenity section, the historic section and the mausoleum, all burial sites have in-ground gravestones. There are approximately 100,000 residents in Greenwood Memorial Park - it is the largest non-military cemetery in San Diego County.

A short history of Greenwood Memorial Park is included on this page published by the San Diego Historical Society in the Journal of San Diego History.

I visited Greenwood Memorial Park two weeks ago in order to find graves of some of my distant cousins, obtain information about the park, the famous residents buried there, and to take some pictures. I wrote the names to be searched on a form, and waited several minutes (with a cookie and a bottle of water) for Kevin to come out and tell me that they did not have a record of my lost cousins. I told him that I also wanted information about famous people, and he volunteered to take me on a short tour of the "historic" section of the cemetery. After the tour, he provided a list of the famous residents which had brief biographies for each of them. I took some pictures, too.

The office on the top of the hill looks like this:

The Salli Lynn Chapel can be used for funerals and memorial services:

The most eye-catching memorial is shown through these gates. This is labeled Tribute on the maps but is the Lifesharing Hero's memorial. This view is through gates to the Serenity section of the cemetery, which has mostly Vietnamese stones.

This is a view to the north toward the Bible Mausoleum from the office area.

The web sites that have transcriptions and photographs include:

* Interment.net has 120 transcriptions.

* FindaGrave.com has a great map, some pictures of the grounds, and 1,485 transcriptions from the cemetery, including some with biographies and photographs of the deceased. There are also links to 25 "famous" persons buried at Greenwood.

* The USGenWeb California Tombstone Project has four lists of transcriptions - Transcription #1 (23) A-E (over 1300) F-J (over 1000) K-P (over 1200) Q-Z (over 1100).

* The Political Graveyard has six entries for Greenwood graves of politicians.

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