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Cemetery on Sunol - leave as 'Pioneer'

Original post made by Gail W., Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks, on Mar 11, 2013

The cemetery on Sunol is a 'Pioneer' cemetery because when it was established by the Oddfellows service group, and people choosing to bury family embers there picked a local value site.

Fully Landscaped burial plots now cost $10,000 to $25,000+ in other Bay Area cemeteries ( at least those with plots available).

I was concerned to read (Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

that a candidate for City Council wants City taxpayers to pay for fancy lawn and flowers at this Pioneer cemetery. Don't support this idea. It is unfair to have taxpayers 'upgrade' the site when families picked a 'value' on purpose. Plus, what a waste of water, and aside from a (very) few visits a year by family to a burial site, wouldn't our town be better off using limited tax dollars by putting grass and flowers at the Bernal Community Park, which hundreds would go to every day!

Comments (13)

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Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2013 at 8:13 am

Boy, what a heartless post! A waste of money on a cemetary to honor our dead? You're post is a waste of time, and come to think of it I think I'm wasting my time posting this response. We have two nice dog parks that the City spent our tax dollars on for dogs, yes dogs! Our cemetary as far as I'm concerned should be the NICEST park in town, period.

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Posted by Brad
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2013 at 9:02 am

If the City can spend $ 40,000,000 on a. Golf course, build dog parks, fabulous parks and play fields it SHOULD spend necessary money to honor the many citizens who created and maintained this City.

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Posted by Peter Bailey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2013 at 9:59 am

This is ridiculous, responding to such an uninformed, biased comment. The Pioneer Cemetery is a place of honor, honoring those who made Pleasanton the community we all enjoy. The cemetery SHOULD be improved, it's the gateway to the city and has for years been nothing but an embarrassing weed patch. What better reason to upgrade it than to show respect to our founders and those who will lie at rest there eventually.
It should be preserved as an attractive park for families to visit and pay respect to those resting therein.

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Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 11, 2013 at 10:25 am

I like going to old time pioneer cemeteries that still have their original look. After years of living in Pleasanton I found the cemetery and visited it. They had cleaned it up some and it was interesting to see the old grave sites. While I think it should be maintained I don't think that it's look and feel should be changed. It should reflect the time period that is is from and that the people in it are from.

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Posted by Frank Capilla
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Mar 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Several years ago a group of concerned citizens in Pleasanton obtained an option to buy the old pioneer cemetery for $1. Unfortunately the old Odd Fellow's cemetery had fallen into a state of serious disrepair. With the encouragement of this committee and 1200+ citizens that signed a petition, the city of Pleasanton bought the cemetery from the Odd Fellow's for $1. The city has since done a wonderful job of cleaning up the site. They restored the old Odd fellows sign re landscaped the entrance, put up a new fence and opened up new grave sites that are now for sale. (Yes, unlike other parks in town, the cemetery has an income stream.) The Pleasanton Rotary club has also done a wonderful job of cleaning up a lot of the old grave sites. Re leveling headstones, repairing cracked concrete etc. We thank them for their continuing work.
Our committee has now regrouped and we are working to have the City finish the cemetery. It is our opinion that in a city that prides itself on it's parks and open space, that the Pleasanton Pioneer cemetery should be the "nicest park in town." We are supported in this effort by the Pleasanton Chamber of commerce, Pleasanton Rotary Club, Pleasanton VFW, Pleasanton Lyons club, Pleasanton Downtown Association and the Pleasanton Heritage society.
We encourage the citizens of Pleasanton to take a stroll through the cemetery. You will see how much of our heritage is buried there, pioneers, founders, citizens and veterans. Hopefully you will join with us and help restore our cemetery to it's old Glory and make The Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery, the "nicest park in town".
Frank Capilla
Member: Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery Committee.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Maybe we should combine the cemetary and golf course? Look at all the land the golf course uses that could be used to bury and honor our fellow citizens. Maintenance would already be covered as well as adequate water supplies to keep the lawns forever green.

We would need to open a 19th hole so when burial services were being conducted on a fairway, golfers would not be denied their 18 holes.

A premium could be charged for burials under the tee box or green. Burials in the rough would get a discount.

Gravestones would not work so well so a burial location map could be installed at each tee with a GPS coordinate. Finding your loved one could be fun for the entire family - like a geocaching outing.

We could rename Callippe to something more descriptive to attract more golfers and burial services, maybe Put & Plant or Die & Drive. OK, we might need to work on the new name.

I bet Callippe would be turning a profit in no time at all.

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Posted by Harry
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Brilliant, Curious! Anything that turns a profit gets my vote.

Golf and Ghouls?

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Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2013 at 9:03 am

Frank, thanks for your efforts and those of the groups supporting the preservation of the cemetery. Visiting the cemetery is like walking back in time and gives us all an opportunity to pay our respects to the city's founders and early citizens. Keep up the good work!

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Posted by Jim Wright
a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

My name is Jim Wright I have lived in Pleasanton my entire life ( over 66years) I can not believe your comments on this subject. We wanted the city to buy the cemetery so it could be up graded and a place of honer, for our founding fathers, love ones, also for our veterans some of which go back to the civil war. As far as water goes usually a park or center divider on a roadway the water used is recycled so where is the waste. How can you be proud of a place where the grass is dead before spring ends. Yes the city did do some clean up and so did many organizations in the city. It is not finished we need a new lawn and upgraded pathways for all of us to enjoy.

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Posted by Doug Miller
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

As a member of the cemetery committee and as the veterans representative on the committee, I support a plan for improving the cemetery. More than 500 veterans are buried at the adjoining cemeteries. Their service and sacrifice is part of our heritage and must be preserved and respected. It is extremely likely that all candidates in the city council special election support some plan for making improvements at the cemetery. Organizations like Rotary, American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are waiting for the development of a specific plan so that they can contribute to the effort. One family has pledged $40,000 in matching funds toward the construction of a veterans memorial. I believe that all current members of the city council, including Mayor Thorne, are in favor of making improvements. Any comments or rumors to the contrary are false and malicious.

Doug Miller
Trustee and Past Commander
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298

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Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

Doug, first thank you for your service. You might want to take a look at the posting on campaign yard signs regarding candidates supporting upgrading the cemetery. It appears from some of the comments from Miller supporters that they consider the cemetery a trivial issue. I have to wonder if that reflects the candidate's actual position.

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Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I generally keep my comments to myself, but this one made my blood boil. My 5-year old son, who died of cancer after an 18-month battle last year, is buried at Pioneer. And I will ASSURE YOU that we paid a pretty penny for the plot -- well within your $10,000 to $25,000 figure -- and we are a young family. Do your research before posting future bits of offensive drivel. For what it's worth, I like the idea of doing a better job of maintaining the ceremony. We visit our son's grave every week and are dismayed by how brown and unkempt the grass gets during the Spring and Summer months. We do what we can to brighten the place up by planting flowers on his plot, but the overall look is, well, shameful. And it reflects poorly on the town.

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Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Darn, lots of typos above. Ceremony = cemetery. And I meant to say that Pioneer is NOT a 'budget' cemetery -- it's just as pricey as the 'full-service', fully landscaped ones in the Bay Area. I know because we priced them out a year ago. In fact, Pioneer was actually *more* expensive than several others. We just sucked it up and paid the price because we wanted him to be buried nearby.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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