Carl K. Linge, the founder of Cedar Memorial, purchased a farm along the main road
between Cedar Rapids and Marion in the winter of 1929. At that time the two cities were separated by about 6 miles of countryside. Later that same year, he began building a new kind of cemetery called a park plan. Instead of large stone monuments, it would feature enduring bronze memorials set flush with the ground. Carl kept expanding his unique cemetery through the years.
A second and a third generation of Linges continued Carl's vision,
and today, Cedar Memorial is one of the most respected cemeteries and funeral homes in the Midwest.
– Cemetery is formally dedicated on March 29th.
1935 – The Masonic obelisk is erected beginning a long tradition of adding statuary and works of art to Cedar Memorial Park.
1941 – The Chapel of Memories, patterned after old world churches of England, and adjoining mausoleum complex opens in the center of the cemetery.
– Cedar Memorial begins their long tradition of displaying a nativity scene for the enjoyment of families visiting the park during the holidays.
1943–today – Cedar Memorial Park is recognized in multiple industry publications for its unique setting and services.
– The mausoleum is expanded with the addition of the Corridor of Faith, Corridor of Light, Chapel Rooms, and Garden of Prayer.
1953 – Veterans Memorial Lawn is established recognizing veterans who sacrificed during WW I and II.
– The Flower Shop at Cedar Memorial opens to serve lot owners and their families.
– The Corridor of Peace expansion adds additional casketed crypt spaces to the mausoleum. Its rotunda features the Statue of Immortality and hand-made Venetian glass mosaics.
– The entrance to the park is widened to accommodate increasing traffic.
– The original Cedar Memorial Funeral Home opens on the cemetery grounds in the former home of Carl and Ruby Linge.
– A larger funeral home is constructed to better serve our families. Its limestone and cedar wood construction blends perfectly with the natural beauty of the cemetery.
The Garden of Eternal Love is dedicated.
– Cedar Memorial purchases John B. Turner and Sons, which includes two funeral homes, Turner East and Turner West. Turner West continues to operate as a funeral home as Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel.
– Cedar Memorial creates a new concept in preplanning. Specially trained Family Service Counselors assist Funeral Directors in serving families’ needs while also providing AfterCare services.
The Tranquility Fountain begins service as a centerpiece to Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery and the Garden of Tranquility.
The traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Moving Wall, comes to Cedar Memorial. During its one-week stay, over 40,000 people visit the memorial.
– The Corridor of Hope addition to the Chapel of Memories Mausoleum is completed.
– The Family Center and Library is completed. The center provides a place for families to hold luncheons, receptions and other gatherings. It also offers books about grief made available to families as part of our AfterCare services.
– Iowa Cremation, a division of Cedar Memorial, is formed with the mission of delivering simple, dignified, and affordable cremation services to families across Iowa.
– The Cedar Cremation Center is built at the north edge of the cemetery.
– The Garden of Reflection is developed, offering cremation burial options in a natural setting.
– Cedar Memorial creates several signature service plans to make funeral planning easier and more affordable for families.
– John Linge, president of Cedar Memorial, is elected to the Board of Directors of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.
From 1929 to today,
Cedar Memorial Park continues to offer affordable and dignified funeral services to the community. Carl K. Linge would be proud.