Volunteers keep Crown Crest looking trim

Volunteer Greg Shaffer, of Clearfield, does some tree trimming at Crown Crest Memorial Park. Volunteers have been maintaining the cemetery after its former owners were convicted of theft.

CLEARFIELD — Volunteers are keeping Crown Crest Cemetery properly maintained in honor of family members and local veterans.

There are about 6,400 graves at Crown Crest Cemetery, almost 2,000 of them are veterans, according to Lawrence Township Secretary Barbara Shaffner, who is a volunteer and handles much of the administration of the cemetery. The cemetery is also home to Clearfield’s Memorial Day services.

“I think the veterans deserve to have a nice place and be recognized,” Shaffner said.

The cemetery had fallen into disrepair several years ago after its owners, Edmund Grenier and his wife, Brenda, pleaded guilty to theft charges and were sentenced to jail several years ago for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the customers of Crown Crest Cemetery and Lakelawn Cemetery in Reynoldsville.

Edmund Grenier is currently serving 25-50 years at SCI Bellefonte. Brenda Grenier also pleaded guilty, served 11 1/2 months in the Clearfield County Jail and was released.

Ever since then volunteers have taken the reigns and have maintained the cemetery.

Lawrence Township is officially in charge of administering the cemetery until a permanent owner is found but much of the work of maintaining the cemetery is done by volunteers’ Shaffner said.

The township also maintains an account of the donations that have been given to the cemetery and it has used this money to purchase two zero turn lawn mowers, weed eaters and other equipment and fuel needed to maintain the cemetery, Shaffner said.

Shaffner said she, her husband Greg, her son Gary and several neighbors of the cemetery do much of the mowing. She said it takes about 40 hours a week to mow the entire 36.5 acre cemetery.

She said other volunteers also do some mowing and do much of the weed-eating and trimming at the cemetery, many of whom have family at the cemetery.

Before Memorial Day local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts helped clean up the cemetery and place the flags on medallions on the graves of veterans and the road crews of Lawrence Township and Clearfield Borough did some patching on the roads in the cemetery, Shaffner said.

Shaffner said she and other volunteers have been compiling the list of veterans at the cemetery to be recognized with flags and medalions and asked residents to contact her at the township office if they have missed anyone.

“It’s really important that we recognize all the veterans,” Shaffner said.

If someone wants to purchase a plot at the cemetery, they should contact Shaffner at the township office at 766-0176.

Anyone who wants to dontate or volunteer at the cemetery can call Shaffner at the township office.

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