MUNHALL (KDKA) — The 34-acre Homestead Cemetery in Munhall ceased operations this past Tuesday, because it has run out of money.

And efforts to come up with a financial plan to save the cemetery failed.

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The cemetery – opened in the 1880s – is home to dozens of Civil War veterans.

This week, every member of the all-volunteer Board of Trustees resigned, except for the Board President, Cathy Morrow. It’s expected that the cemetery will file for bankruptcy in about two weeks.

Mayor Raymond Bodnar of Munhall, a member of the Board, told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti last night, “I’m very disappointed that it has come to this, the cemetery, unfortunately, has to be bankrupt because of a lack of public support, and a lack of funerals.”

There have only been about a half-dozen funerals so far this year.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

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Bodnar pointed out that the nearly 140-year-old cemetery has no such thing as “perpetual care,” which would provide more funding for the non-profit cemetery after someone was buried in the graveyard.

Bodnar also thinks other Mon Valley communities – like Whittaker, West Mifflin and Lincoln Place – should help in solving the cemetery’s money problems.

Once bankruptcy is filed, the courts will appoint a trustee to oversee cemetery operations. But until then, no one can purchase a cemetery lot there, and if a loved one dies and already has a family plot in the cemetery, it will mean the family will have to find a contractor to open the gravesite for burial.

Munhall Funeral Director Michael Aldrich said last night “death isn’t a scheduled thing, like a thief in the night, someone may die and want to be buried [in the Homestead Cemetery], and I don’t think it’s [now] possible.”

Aldrich said, “death doesn’t wait, you can’t say – well, great, great grandma you just lay there dead, until we figure out where we’re going to bury you in a grave, that was paid for 30 years ago [in the Homestead Cemetery].”

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