Sims Township (Arenac, MI)


Cemetery Sexton

Important Information

Jill Sanzo

office: 989-876-8631 ext. 221


Sims-Whitney Townshp Cemetery

Cemetery Protocols

Protocols Overview … Cemetery Hours — Sunrise to Sunset; Contact the Cemetery Sexton at Sims Township Hall to purchase grave plots or arrange for burials at 989-876-8631; Vehicles are restricted to maintained roadways only and parked vehicles must not block cemetery traffic; Five No’s … No Burning, No Littering, No ORV’S, No Alcohol, No Fireworks.

These Protocols and the ones following are intended to enhance the management, appearance and safety of the cemetery grounds and they supersede/replace all previous Protocols in the form of Cemetery Rules and Regulations created from 1917 to 2020.

Headstones …All headstones are to be placed on a cement foundation and headstones must not extend more than the length of the foundation. Only natural stone headstones and memorial plaques are permissible and wood, plastic and composite products are not permissible. Headstones may be placed to mark a single grave, both husband and wife side by side, other partners side by side and families. Only one headstone and up to two flush mounted memorial plaques are allowed for each burial plot. Headstones must not exceed 48” in height and 46” in width. There is a nominal charge collected before a foundation and headstone is placed, so the Cemetery Sexton, located at Sims Township Hall, must be contacted prior to the placement of a foundation and headstone. Beginning 2021, that charge is $15.00 and is subject to change annually without notice if required. 

Remembrance or Memorial Tokens on Graves … Unsecured-loose containers, shells, stones, toys, cans, bottles, balls, sporting paraphernalia, marbles and anything of metal are NOT allowed on graves due to the high winds within the cemetery and maintenance workers with high-powered blowers.Conditions will be corrected without prior notice. Cemetery Speed Limit ... Never exceed 10 mph. Fencing, Arches and Stone or Cement Walls around Graves … None are allowed and will be removed without prior notice. Trees and Shrubs ... The planting of same are not allowed and will be removed without prior notice. Potted Plants and Artificial Flowers ... These are allowed but must be secured with a stake to the grave to prevent being blown about by strong winds off the lake and must be removed by the last weekend of October of each year. Loose Ground Covering … No decorative stones such as crushed rock, gravel, wood chips, mulch or any other loose ground covering is allowed, as this is a potential safety hazard to cemetery workers and all such materials will be removed without prior notice.

Markers … The corners of each plot are marked with numbered metal markers and must not be removed. Shepherd Hooks and other Metal Apparatus … Are not allowed on grave sites as they are a potential safety hazard to cemetery workers and will be removed without prior notice. Bird or Livestock Feeders … None allowed. Service Animals ... Are allowed but must be on a leash and owners are required to clean up their pooh. Benches … These are no longer permitted due to being an encumbrance for grounds maintenance. However, they can be used as a memorial in place of a headstone, but must be made from a stone-type product and must not exceed the maximum width of a burial plot which is 48” and a back height of no more than 3.’ Religious Items … Crosses and Statues, for instance, must not exceed 2 foot in height and 12 inches wide and must be secured to the grave within 6” of the headstone. Unsecured religious artifacts will be removed. Grave Blankets ... Allowed after November 1ˢᵗ and must be removed by March 31ˢᵗ. Grave Site Improvements … All improvements to a grave site must conform to the Cemetery Regulations herewith and require the pre-approval by the Cemetery Sexton. Removal of Objects … Any item on a grave that conflicts with Cemetery Regulations, are an unreasonable size that exceeds the grave site parameters or is a potential hazard to cemetery workers will be removed without prior notice. Damages … The Townships of Sims- Whitney will not be responsible for any items lost, stolen or broken on or about a grave site which includes headstones, foundations, benches, artifacts, etc. Families owning grave sites are responsible to repair damage to headstones and foundations that have shifted or sunk over time. Cemetery Clean-Up … April 1*ᵗ begins cemetery clean-up when grave blankets not removed by March 31 ᵗ will be removed along with any other unsightly materials that are scattered about. Between Oct 15-31, our cemetery maintenance persons will remove summer plants and decorations that were not secured. If you would like to retain any of the items, please do so prior to those dates. Remember … Grave Certificates are not Property Deeds and the Townships retain ownership and management responsibility of the cemetery in its entirety. These Protocols are subject to change without prior notice.