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Leavitt’s Mortuary offers family plots in new Catholic section

By Adam Rubin - Special to The Standard-Examiner | Oct 29, 2021

Adam Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Nicholas Atkin, of Leavitt’s Mortuary, stands beside a Virgin Mary statue in the new Blessed Mary section of the burial park on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

OGDEN — Leavitt’s Mortuary Aultorest Memorial Park began plans of making more space for family estates of four to 10 plots each in the new Blessed Mary section of the cemetery as the company’s traditional Catholic section has filled up over recent years.

A statue of the Virgin Mary marks a new space for Ogden’s Catholic-oriented community at the park, located at 836 36th St.

The original Catholic section at Leavitt’s Mortuary was created in 1929 and is positioned along the front edge of 36th Street.

Leavitt’s reached out to the Catholic community to create a new section of the cemetery to serve Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Nicholas Atkin, the pre-needs consultant and family service councilor, explained that the Leavitt’s team started working on creating a new Catholic section roughly two years ago.

Adam Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

The Blessed Mary section at Leavitt’s Mortuary & Aultorest Memorial Park offers “exclusive family estates" of four to 12 spaces, with garden work to separate family plots in the new section, shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

The new Blessed Mary section of the cemetery sits on roughly 2 acres of land and got its name from the statue of the Catholic Saint Mary, which Leavitt’s Mortuary commissioned nearly one year ago and had Father Charles Cummins, pastor at the Newman Center, commemorate.

Mike Leavitt, third generation owner and president at the mortuary, stated that as a cemetery owner he knows how important it is to offer families features like the Blessed Mary statue, because it attracts people to a certain spot of the cemetery.

“Whether it be a waterfall, whether it be where I have elk and deer, you want something that will bring people to a certain spot.” Leavitt said. “You don’t want a flat piece of property, throw some trees in there and call it good.”

Bret Hines, mortuary manager, has been heavily involved with the cemetery’s land development for the past 12 years. He oversaw the selection of the Blessed Mary statue and spoke about the importance of having a representation of Mary at the Leavitt’s property.

“I think just the representation of Mary as Christ’s mother is soothing to people — as well as myself — and just the great role she played in the birth of the savior and in His life and as a role model for our mothers and women particularly of all faiths … and it’s just a peaceful place,” he said.

Adam Rubin, Special to the Standard-Examiner

A Virgin Mary statue is adorned with flowers placed in its arms by visitors of Leavitt’s Mortuary on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

Hines reached out to Cummins to come survey the property and select the acreage where the new Blessed Mary section would be located.

The statue has been completed for about one year, and the team at Leavitt’s Mortuary has been preliminarily preparing the ground before they start any burials.

While the section is not open for burials yet, the community has left roses and flowers of different sorts around the statue and in its arms.

Leavitt expressed how it makes him feel to be able to offer a new section like the Blessed Mary Section to the wider community.

“We want to show everybody that we are all aspects, we are not just one religion one ethnicity, or anything like that,” he said, “We are for anybody and everybody, and we are here for the community no matter what we do.”

Atkin explained what draws his attention, on a personal level, to many of the different burial sections of the park — not only the new Blessed Mary section.

“It comes down to family for me in this instance because of the different religious groups. … A lot of them do like to purchase multiple plots and get the family estates,” he said. “That’s what draws my attention to it, the possibility to be able to be with family forever, both physically and spiritually.”

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