Born in 1948 with a small eager team and a simple sign on the hill, Green Hills Memorial Park is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. When we look at where we are today and look back upon those early humble beginnings, we are amazed at how far we have come. This significant milestone offers us an opportunity to reflect upon the most meaningful elements of our 70-year journey.
When we look through the old photos, we see a beautiful transformation unfolding over the years. Where once lay only the blank canvas of the naturally beautiful but undeveloped Rancho Verdes Peninsula, we now see a masterful blend of a natural and developed landscape which inspires feelings of peace, serenity, and reflection. Where once there were no areas of assembly for people, now we see impeccably constructed and meticulously maintained courts, cloisters, chapels, mausoleums, and a restored historical church; creating a home for tradition, ceremony, remembrance and family gathering. We remember establishing annual traditions in 1955 which we have continued to this day. In recent years, we have built on the traditions of yesterday by creating new events and expressions of ceremony and celebration. While all of these things are meaningful and we are grateful for them, they don’t hold the highest significance for the Green Hills team. They are not the things our hearts treasure the most.
What do we treasure the most, you ask? It is the lives we have impacted over these 70 wonderful years; it is the people; it is the families.
When we look again at the old photos and take a broader look; when we see beyond our property borders and observe the community around us, we notice an interesting thing. In 1948 Green Hills Memorial park and the surrounding community were in their infancy. As the decades have rolled by, we have both grown and matured together. As cities have developed around us, our ability to serve has likewise expanded and developed. When we look at our and the community’s growth, we see more than growing infrastructure; we see an abundance of precious souls; we see innumerable families.
If we had to distill what the Green Hills team are most grateful for into one word, it would be this – Trust. Thousands of families have placed their trust in us. The trust we have received from families over the years is not a burden; it is higher even than a joy; it is a privilege. Our Family Service Advisor, Courtney Kroger said it best recently: “I am one of the very few people that are welcomed in and allowed to help a family through one of the most difficult times of their life. I consider it a privilege.” That simple but powerful testimony from Courtney perfectly captures the heart of the Green Hills team. We are incredibly privileged and deeply grateful to have had the trust of so many families over the years.
The numbers of people we have helped is in direct proportion to the degree of our sense of gratitude and honor:
In total, there are 100,000 souls interred at Green Hills Memorial Park.
Beginning in 1948 we estimate that we touched the lives of several hundred people per year. That number has substantially grown to where we are today. We currently are privileged to have the trust of approximately 375,000 people per year. Because every unique individual is of extraordinary worth, we are moved beyond words with gratitude when we consider numbers this large.
We proudly continue to honor practices and ceremony established long ago while keeping a creative eye toward forming new methods and family traditions in celebrating the lives of loved ones. Honoring established tradition, this year we performed our 63rd Easter Sunrise and 33rd Memorial Day observances. As we desired to grow into a gathering place where families and our community could celebrate life year round, we created new celebrations and invited all of our neighbors. In 2011 we began the Holiday Festival and added the Harvest Festival in 2012. Our most recent addition, the Let It Snow Festival, is a sight to behold where many Southern California kids get to experience snow sledding for the first time!
In recent years as we sought to convey our spirit of life celebration in words, we created our new motto “Life Celebrated Perfectly.” We believe our new motto precisely captures the entire culture and heart of Green Hills Memorial Park. Looking toward the future, we excitedly look forward to bringing Life Celebrated Perfectly to an ever increasing number of families in traditional and unique new ways.
If yourself or a family member have had the opportunity to be served by Green Hills today or in the past, on this our 70th Anniversary, please know that it is you we celebrate. You are our real source of satisfaction, joy, and gratitude.
From the entire Green Hills Memorial Park Team,
Your trust in us means more than words can express.