Rosehill’s exterior reconstructed

The cemetery high atop South Hill will be getting a new look this summer.

Bonnie Ripplinger, superintendent of Rosehill Memorial Park, said the cemetery will undergo a fencing project that was approved by the Minot City Council and will replace the existing chain-link fence with wrought iron. The fence, which is actually metal but made to look like wrought iron, she explained, will be 5 feet tall and will span all across the north side of the cemetery. “The new fencing will make it look more like a cemetery,” Ripplinger added.

The fencing project is one of the capital improvements being made and Ripplinger said they have also received generous donations from local businesses and families interested in helping.

Ripplinger said they also plan to overlay the roads in the cemetery and will get half of those done this summer.

Another plan for the cemetery that is in the works is a columbarium, an above ground unit that would house the cremated remains of people, Ripplinger said. “The increase in cremations will change the look of cemeteries down the road,” she said, “so having a place to put the ashes will be a necessity.”

Much farther down the road for Rosehill Memorial Park will be an expansion. However, the cemetery has roughly 80 to 90 years before they would have to expand into the nearby baseball diamond and Rainbow Gardens, Ripplinger said. “Expanding into those areas won’t happen in my lifetime or yours,” she added.

Rosehill Memorial Park, as a piece of trivia, sits on 45 acres. All of the lots are 4 feet wide and 9 to 12 feet long, depending on which section the person is buried in. There is also a very large veterans grounds at the cemetery, Ripplinger noted, and there is also a section set aside for veterans and their spouses.

Currently, more than 20,400 burials have been made in the cemetery, with nearly 250 burials completed each year.

In the summer, there are eight employees who work at Rosehill Memorial Park, Ripplinger said. Employees include Ripplinger, three equipment operators and four summer part-time staff. The four summer part-time workers do most of the groundskeeping, she added. In the winter, however, there are only four employees, said Ripplinger, just her and the three equipment operators.

Mowing the lawn at the cemetery takes a week. With good weather, it takes a week to mow the lawn from one end of the cemetery to the other, Ripplinger said. They do a lot of weeding, too, she added. “This is a good place to beef up muscles,” Ripplinger remarked, making a reference to two of the part-time employees who are anxious to return to their college sports teams in the fall since they have built up arm muscles by working on the grounds.

If a person is looking for a specific grave at the cemetery, Ripplinger said they can come to the office and will be given a map along with some directions on where to find it.

Rosehill Memorial Park is located at 700-11th Ave. SE. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People can reach Ripplinger at 857-4128. Visitors are admitted to the grounds daily, with gates closed only during winter storms or periods of heavy rainfall. Night security is provided by local law enforcement.