I am a native Californian. I went to school in Santa Rosa and married Vern Leete also from Santa Rosa. After being away for quite some time we returned to California and found the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery in a mess. The weeds were thigh high because it had been abandoned. A group of teens from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints began rescuing the cemetery. Later that year the city included it in the "Hands Across the County" program. It took less then a year to give the cemetery the sense of dignity it deserved. Now it has natural beauty with its huge oaks and Vinca. Garbage was hauled away and gravel put on some of the graves. Walkways were cleared. Headstones were straightened and bleached. The pioneers of Santa Rosa are buried here and these young men and women understood the importance of honoring those that had established their fine city.
In 1986 a young man named Adrian Seeser chose to list all the names in this cemetery for his Eagle Scout award. With his permission those names have now been added to this site in hopes it will help anybody that has family or friends they could not locate before.
It has been an honor to be a part of the reconciliation of this graveyard. It gives me confidence in the youth of our town. My hope is that you as a searcher will find comfort in what you find.
Mrs. Cecile Heath at Santa Rosa Rural Cem. The bio addition that I sent to you on April 23rd hasn't been added yet. Sandy Frary wrote a follow up story last week and also gave me a photo of her which I added to the page if you haven't seen it yet. Here is the 2nd story again. Thanks so much. --------------
This Cemetery Rumblings is a continuation of last weeks story in which I introduced you to Miss Excelsa, the gun juggling/sword fighting vaudeville performer who perished in the 1906 Earthquake.
Its been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. So in lieu of 1,000 words, I am submitting the following photograph of Miss Excelsa, which appeared on an old vaudeville poster. (Is this how you had her pictured? Me neither.)
At the bottom of the poster, she is billed as Miss Excelia. But because her stage name was misspelled as Excelsa on the 1906 Earthquake causality list, upon her death, she was thereafter referred to as Miss Excelsa.
On April 15, 2012, Miss Excelsa was remembered in a ceremony honoring those who died in the 1906 Earthquake. The event was sponsored by the Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee and included a theatrical performance by actress, Ellen Bowen, which was dedicated to Miss Excelsa. A cerise-colored rambling rose by the name of Excelsa was then planted along the fence next to the mass grave of Earthquake victims where Miss Excelsa is buried. The event ended with the scattering of rose petals on the large granite monument dedicated to the Earthquake victims, which sits atop the cement-covered mass grave.
~by Sandy Frary, cemetery archivist, published on 4/22/2016
Mrs. Cecile Heath at Santa Rosa Rural Cem. P.S. I changed the Edit panel update for her name to just Mrs. Cecile Heath. Not including her husband's real last name George in the surname field. Sandy Frary just recommended that since no one knows her by that surname and they will read it in the story that I submitted to you today to add.
Besides Cecile Heath, there are a few others that I submitted Edit Panel updates for. (Need to go to your homepage and click on Edit and you will find them).
I just sent you a new bio to replace the one I sent you prior. It's Sandy Frary's detailed story about Mrs. Cecile Heath. FYI, her husband's stage name was Fred Heath. His surname was actually GEORGE. I sent you an Edit Panel to change her name listing to Mrs. Cecile Heath (George). If people read the story, they will understand.
Please approve the Panel Edits that I sent you last week and today for her (birth and death places, transcription, name, etc.).
Find A Grave Correction: Maria Patrick Jeanie...thanks for the plot info for Maria Louise Standley Patrick. I visited the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery in the Fall of 2012. I wish I'd known Maria was there so I could pay her a visit!
RE: 28709284 Edward Edmondson I would love to have a transfer. Thank you. I read your bio info and thought you might like to keep everyone you have rescued, though. Adding Edward to his parents and siblings will be great.