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By Mike Hazlip—
Running a cemetery might not have been the career Cyndi Price dreamed off, but as Sylvan Cemetery’s general manager, she says the job is rewarding.
The 51-year-old mother of four started working at the cemetery in 2008 after the former manager, Ron Clark, hired her. Clark retired in 2019, after four decades of managing the cemetery, and Price officially became the general manager after a few years as acting manager, she said.
“Had a little bit of time under my belt before becoming manager,” Price said. “We knew it was going to happen, he knew he was going to retire at 63.”
Although Price doesn’t expect to be at the cemetery quite as long as her predecessor, she says she enjoys helping families.
“I love it, I do love it,” she says. “It’s just really a way to help people and to help them during their time of grieving. It’s very rewarding.”
Sylvan Cemetery is located at 7401 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights and is a district cemetery partially funded by property taxes. Any residents of Citrus Heights and surrounding areas are eligible for a burial plot at a fraction of the cost of a private cemetery, Price said.
One challenge is that with little room to grow and a record number of burials this year, Price says Sylvan Cemetery might have a little more than 10 years before all the plots are either sold or occupied. She is currently working on developing a site near the back of the cemetery, and has already completed a niche bank with 390 spaces for urns.
Although COVID deaths have been part of the increase, Price says most deaths are the Baby Boomer generation. Now in their 70s, the generation born after WWII accounts for the majority of burials at the cemetery.
Another challenge is keeping the water bill low, while meeting the expectations of family members who come to visit the grave sites of loved ones.
Now in her 13th year at the cemetery, Price says she is not superstitious, but some of the visitors to the cemetery are. While some may think her career is morbid, Price sees it as an opportunity to show love to others during their time of need.
“I consider it an honor to be able to help people. We’ve got all faiths come in here. You know you’re helping, and you’re being a little bit of peace and comfort.”
“Whole families only get together at weddings or funerals,” she said. “We get to witness a lot of times families being reunited, for a sad occasion, but they’re just loving on each other and comforting each other. It’s neat to watch and be a part of that.”
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