Setting a Memory in Stone
Having a flat grave marker or monument created are two ways to represent a loved one’s final resting place. Although with more people preferring to be cremated, not everyone finds it necessary to have a flat grave marker or monument made. For those who are interested in these options, here is a brief introduction to grave markers and monuments.
Grave markers are flat bronze plaques that are installed on a granite stone base for the purpose of identifying the deceased. Monuments are upright for the same identification purpose. There are many different styles and types of flat grave markers and monuments available, with different designs, granite options, and personalization options. Because monuments provide more space, more can be personalized in terms of shape, size, and inscription. Whether you choose one over the other, it is a sure way to show that the deceased was loved and continues to be remembered.
Monument Counselor of Our Fredericksburg Chapel, Jeremy Grimes
Jeremy joined our Found and Sons chapel of Fredericksburg in 2016. Since 1997, he’s worked as a Funeral Assistant, Crematory Operator, and Monument Counselor. He is a lifelong resident of the Fredericksburg area and currently lives in Spotsylvania County. He is an avid mountain biker and enjoys agriculture as a hobby. The most important part of his life is his son, Mason.
How long have you been a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons?
I have been helping families create monuments and memorials for just over 20 years and now. Since being with Found and Sons for the past 4 years, I take pride in sitting down with families to design a monument that they are happy with. Providing families with a beautiful monument can also help with their grieving.
What type of monuments do you tend to recommend to families and why?
I always present the most cost-effective option first so I tend to recommend the Blue Ridge and Eagle Blue.
What’s the most rewarding part of the process when helping families with their monuments?
I enjoy passing by and walking through the cemeteries. I have always admired the art and hard work that went into the making of these monuments and markers. Since starting in this line of work, I can now say that I’ve helped with the making and placing of some of these monuments.
What is one common misconception that families have when it comes to having a monument made?
I think the most common misconception is that families think that they can’t come back to the drawing board when designing a monument. Families are always welcome to change what they want in the layout multiple times before reaching a final design. Another misconception is that we as Monument Counselors have to stick to what is available in the books or brochures when we present options to families. We can create custom monuments as well. Almost any sketch can be made into a memorial and almost any picture can be etched or sandblasted.
If there was one thing that you could tell a family about monuments, what would it be?
I would encourage families to think about what they would like to express and accomplish on the memorial. It’s wise to visit the cemetery to see if there is a specific style, color, or size to match up to or replicate.
Is there anything else that you would like to inform people about?
Monuments and bronze plaques have often been very popular for businesses that wish to memorialize an employee. Stone benches are also a popular option as you can engrave a company logo or a message that can be very eye-catching on sidewalks or in green areas.
Because you help so many families in creating unique monuments, what is one monument that has been of significant importance, and why?
My cousin’s monument from design to the installation in the cemetery was particularly important (see Brian Kearns’ monument below). His family decided to go with a rough, rock pitch border on the sides and polished midsection of the Die (stone above the base), with his picture placed in a recessed oval. I believe that adding a porcelain picture to any monument really ties in all of the other elements that are featured. I chose to make the top of the monument a bit taller than others so that it stood out in the cemetery. In my opinion, his monument looks like it could be stacked of multiple pieces but it is only composed of two. The piece also has ivy carved into it, which gives it a contemporary look with a bit of old style.
Installing this monument was an important task, being that it was the first row in this particular cemetery. I needed to set the tone for how straight the line of monuments would be for future headstones. The end result looks great and I’m proud to be able to be there for my family and create a memorial that shows who my cousin was.
It’s an honor to help all the families that come in to explore memorial options. It’s just more personal when it is my family I am able to help. My Grandmother’s marker was important to me going from a single bronze marker to including my Grandfather’s on a companion granite piece.
Pictured left, Bronze Grave Marker of Clifton and Dorothy Kearns at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fredericksburg, VA.
What’s the most elaborate monument that you were able to assist a family with?
The most elaborate monument was one with a base of 80 inches that consisted of 2 wings with a plinth (base) in between the wings and vase set on top of the plinth. The family also asked for ceramic photos to be placed on the monument as well. It turned out beautifully and the family was more than happy with the final product.
When you aren’t assisting with families or helping families with monuments, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I am an avid outdoors person. I’m usually out working on my garden and riding ATV’s with my son, Mason.
Do you work closely with the VFW, American Legion, Sheriff’s Departments, and Cemeteries?
We work with Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, Fredericksburg Police Dept, and the Rotary Club. To see the monument that we created for the Fallen Fredericksburg Officer Memorial, you can click here.
What is the best piece of advice that was ever given to you? What is one quote that you have lived by?
The best piece of advice that was ever given to me was to do a job that I would be proud of. I get that gratification as a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons. A quote that inspired me is “Leave things better than you find them” by Robert Baden-Powell
To see more monuments on our website or to contact us, click here. We look forward to assisting you in creating a monument that best represents your loved one.
Granite Stone Options for Monuments