Planning

To make arrangements for a loved one, please call the cemetery office at 706-543-6262.

Why is planning ahead important?
Making arrangements ahead of needs creates benefits to your family and you. Many people invest in end of life planning from insurance to retirement to wills, but burial planning is often overlooked. Omitting this step can leave stress and cost for family members at difficult times. Planning ahead creates a peace of mind so that your family members can mourn together rather than worry about which cemetery lot to purchase.

Can Oconee Hill accommodate my wishes?
Our cemetery staff will work with families to accommodate most wishes. Oconee Hill serves all families, both those established in the cemetery as well as new ones. We are able to accommodate cremation, full burial, and memorials without remains. If you do not know your interment plans, we will be pleased to discuss the specific options available.

Who can be buried in Oconee Hill?
Oconee Hill Cemetery is open to all.  It is historic with most of Athens' most prominent figures having their final resting place here. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, yet there are thousands of everyday Athenians buried here as well. As a non-profit cemetery that was first established as the cemetery for the entire city in 1856, it is the final resting place for people of all faiths and walks of life. Oconee Hill continues to serve all citizens of Athens today.

Do I need to buy a grave or lot, or can I be buried on an established family lot in the cemetery?
Individuals and families have established thousands of lots in Oconee Hill. Many of these lots were created to provide a place for family members to be buried together for generations. If you are a descendant of the original owner of a lot, you and your descendants most likely have rights to interment on that lot. The staff of Oconee Hill will be happy to help you with establishing rights of interment.

What if I have family I would like to move from another cemetery?
For centuries families have moved their loved ones to new resting places, and Oconee Hill is no different. Oconee Hill was founded because burials in the old Athens cemetery owned by the University of Georgia became prohibited. During the early years of Oconee Hill, several burials were re-interments of families moved from other cemeteries. This tradition continues today as families move loved ones from different locations to Oconee Hill.

I know I want my final resting place to be Oconee Hill Cemetery. What is my next step?
To view our available lots, please contact the cemetery at 706-543-6262 to schedule an appointment to tour available graves and lots. 
As you consider your final resting place, you want to make sure it will be there for the long term and take proper care of its grounds. Therefore, we suggest you ask the following questions:

  • Who owns and operates the cemetery?

Cemeteries may be family owned, part of a for-profit chain, church owned, or a nonprofit. We believe families should be comfortable with the owner, mission, and the way the property is cared for. Oconee Hill is a nonprofit cemetery whose mission is to serve the citizens of Athens within its historic boundaries and landscape. The original seventeen acres were purchased by the Town of Athens in 1855, and in 1856, after the first lots were sold, the city fathers created a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees for the cemetery to hold and manage in trust this land that continues to serve as a public cemetery.

  • What am I buying?

Your purchase is known as a "right of interment." You own the lot with a condition of use. This is spelled out in your purchase contract. You do own any marker or monument that you purchase and place on a lot.

  • What are the cemetery's, and my own, obligations for maintenance?

All lot sales today include perpetual care. This refers to basic care the cemetery will provide on your plot, including mowing the grass, raking the leaves, and keeping the roads clear. It does not cover monument cleaning or repair, or lot landscaping. 
You do not have any obligations with perpetual care. But, because you own the marker or monument, if you wish to have it cleaned or repaired, it will be at your expense.

Interested in more information? If you wish to know more about burial spaces at Oconee Hill Cemetery, please contact us at 706-543-6262 or you may complete the form below, and we will respond to you in a timely manner.

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