Next month, the Bobbitt family is officially opening Tradition Cemetery, the first-ever all-cremation cemetery in the region.
The 10-acre parcel of land, which includes a mortuary and three-acre memorial area, is unique in that it is walk-in only, no streets or vehicles to disturb the garden settings.
The cemetery, instead, consists of walkways, partitioned, landscaped gardens, above-ground niches, citrus trees and trellis lawns.
According to John Bobbitt, fourth-generation family funeral director, the cemetery was designed by his retired father, Gary, specifically for the interment of cremated remains at an affordable price.
The Bobbitt family has also owned and operated Bobbitt Memorial Chapel Funeral Home on Highland Avenue in San Bernardino since 1923.
"My father has been planning this cemetery since the early '90s. This cemetery is designed in the concept of a cemetery in Santa Maria, one of the first of its kind," said Bobbitt, 45, who lives in Highland with his wife and three children.
Because cremation is cheaper and takes less space, families can pay a minimal price for services.
The cost of the cemetery plot starts at under $500 and includes the marker and endowment care, The cremation itself is $695 and includes the necessary permits.
"There is a certain warmth about it. The entire cemetery is a walk-in garden with a memorial center pavilion that allows families to hold a funeral service within the cemetery," Bobbitt said.
Lawn crypt areas are covered with artificial grass that has a smooth surface, allowing the marker to be set perfectly and stay even all the time. There is no shift in the markers, according to Greg Brack, family service director.
"This is possible because we use a high-quality of artificial grass to surround each memorial. No watering, cutting or edging around markers provides a better way for displaying and viewing the memorials."
"We are seeing an increase in cremations," Brack said.
Located on I Street off the 215 Freeway, the cemetery provides families a memorial plaque to honor the memory of their loved one.
"As in a traditional cemetery, we offer families that traditional experience to memorialize their loved ones," said Leann Bobbitt, John's wife.
A granite cenotaph -- or memorial -- wall honors those whose remains are not at Tradition Cemetery but gives the family a place to memorialize them.
"We offer all avenues of service, including full funeral services, so families have all kinds of options," Bobbitt said.
The family, which has owned and operated Bobbitt Memorial Chapel for four generations serves families throughout the Inland Empire,
Family and staff will host the official grand opening of Tradition Cemetery with an open house for the community from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 19 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 20. Refreshments will be served.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the staff is inviting about 300 people they've already served to place memorial plaques in memory of their loved ones.
"This may be the only chance some of these people have had to have a memorial," Bobbitt said.
Brack added, "We're in the people business, not just the funeral business. We give hugs and comfort along the way and help with the after-care of everyday business."
For more information, call 909-383-1560.