- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A cemetery treasurer in Jeffersonville is having a difficult time finding anyone interested in filling its vacant administrative and board positions.

Highland Hills Middle School principal Bill Krammes, who is one of Eastern Cemetery’s three board members, has reached out around town to fill vacancies, but has received only casual interest, the News and Tribune (https://bit.ly/1QVMiZO ) reported.

Even he’s doubtful of his own place with the cemetery. Krammes said the responsibility fell on his shoulders after his sister-in-law, the previous treasurer, died in September.

“This is really kind of more suited to someone who is retired or somebody who is not working a full-time job and wants something to do a couple days of the week,” Krammes said. “I’d be glad to still serve in some kind of role at the cemetery, I just can’t be the cemetery, and right now that’s what it is.”

The board has slowly dwindled from seven members mainly due to attrition. And its superintendent, Jeff Grayson, is also on the verge of retirement.

Don Allen, president of the Walnut Ridge Cemetery board of trustees, said he believes there less interest in cemeteries for a few reasons, chief among them is the rise of cremation.

According to 2010 numbers from the National Funeral Directors Association, 40 percent of Americans are now cremated after death. In 1960, about 3.5 percent were cremated. Allen also said people are more mobile now and can lose a generational sense of place or family connections.

Even so, community leaders like Sandy Knott are concerned for the future of Eastern Cemetery. She warns that the land could become overgrown with weeds if neglected further.

The cemetery has four to five acres of open space left, Krammes said. A perpetual care fund has been set up to take care of maintenance.

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com


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