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Cordelia church has a pioneer cemetery established in 1883 by the members of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Cordelia, Nez Perce County, Idaho Territory. The church stopped holding regular services in 1918.  Several graves were moved shortly thereafter. The land where the cemetery is located is owned by Emmanuel Lutheran Church and managed by Friends of Cordelia.  In 2007, Friends of Cordelia were approached by a member to permit inurnment of cremated remains with a plot marker at the cemetery.  The following guidelines have been established for new additions with a marker to the plot area of cemetery.  

Eligibility requirements

To be considered for a new addition with a marker to the plot area, the deceased must have been a Friend of Cordelia, or a direct decedent of a member of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Cordelia, Nez Perce County, Idaho Territory and the remains must have been cremated. The Board of Directors of Friends of Cordelia must approve the request to be buried at Cordelia with a plot marker.   

Inurnment guidelines

New inurnrments must be cremated remains. All inurnments and disurnments will occur between April 15 and July 15. Inurnments and disurnments shall be arranged with the Cemetery Sexton or President of Friends of Cordelia (cordeliachurch@gmail.com ) upon notice of at least two weeks. The Cemetery Sexton will supervise the digging of the grave. 

Plots are 5 feet wide by 5 feet long and allocated in order of need. The cemetery allows as many as six inurnments in the same plot. For every inurnment, the remains shall be enclosed in a commercial urn/vault designed for cremated remains burial.  If multiple inurnments occur at the same time, a vault holding more than one set of remains may be used.  The vault will be buried at a depth greater than 3 feet.  

Alternative to inurnment.

Ashes may be spread on an allocated plot at any time. The Cemetery Sexton will identify the location of the allocated plot upon the notice of at least two weeks.   


All inurnments and surface ashes shall include a marker/monument to indicate the allocated plot is occupied and the approximate locations of vaults.  The marker/monument design should reflect the traditions of a Lutheran heritage site.  The design of all monuments/markers must be approved by Friends of Cordelia Directors prior to their manufacture.  Friends of Cordelia reserves the right to prohibit the placement of any vault, monument, marker or other monumental work that may be considered by the Board of Directors of Friends of Cordelia as inappropriate either in material, workmanship, size or location or which might interfere with the general view or effect as a Lutheran heritage site.  The width including concrete foundation shall not exceed the width of the plot. The concrete foundation shall be at least 4 inches in depth and extend at least 3 inches larger than the markers/monuments.  There shall be no more than one marker per allocated grave and any marker not placed at the west edge of the plot shall be level with the surface of the ground. All concrete surfaces shall be aligned with other graves in the row. Long-lasting material such as granite, marble, stainless steel, or bronze must be used for markers/monuments.   All monument/marker placements will occur between June 15 and October 15 and should be done within 1 year of inurnment or ash spreading.  All placements of markers shall be approved by the Cemetery Sexton prior to placement. 

Flower pots, bronze vessels, flags, pinwheels, veteran’s markers and other small items of remembrance are encouraged. Friends and relatives placing these items should also maintain them. Should any memorial become unsightly, broken or a hazard to visitors, the Friends of Cordelia shall have the right to either correct the condition or remove the same.

The cemetery is a native grassland and introduced plants should enhance Palouse grassland ecology.  Living markers such as trees and shrubs are discouraged.  Annual and perennial flowers are welcome.  We have found native plants, daffodils, tulips, and snow drops work great, but friends and relatives will need to care for them.  For a list of native plants see http://palouseprairie.org/ .  

Friends of Cordelia disclaim all responsibility for loss or damage caused by the elements, an act of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, malicious mischief-makers, explosions, unavoidable accidents, invasions, insurrections, riots, or order of any military or civil authority, whether the damage is direct or collateral.

Monuments and bronze markers are the property of the deceased and thus the maintenance and care are the responsibility of the owner’s friends and relatives. We encourage families to become involved and participate in the care of the stones and markers and the graves of deceased friends and family members. To focus grave tending efforts, Friends of Cordelia traditionally has a grave tending when we have spring cleanup. Check our website for exact date and time.

Revised March 1, 2018.