Oakdale Cemetery Association hopes to raise $100K for new columbarium

Jess Bengtson
Oakdale Cemetery Association has created a brochure that details its fundraising project.

The existing columbarium at Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston is almost at capacity and their association is in need of financial support to purchase a new one. Association President Lester Wilkens told the Times they try to keep the cemetery cost for area citizens as low as they can, but now need the community’s support for the necessary purchase. 

The columbarium fundraising goal is $100,000 and the proposed structure was designed by Eickhof Columbaria. Wilkens gave the Times a tour of the area where the new structure would go and said they’d have room for two more columbariums plus a walkway, flag and benches should they continue to raise enough money after the first structure goal. 

“All donations go toward the purchase and installation of the columbarium, and are tax deductible,” said Wilkens. “If you direct your 401K mandatory deduction to Oakdale Cemetery Association, that would also be tax deductible.”

For those who would like to make a donation to Oakdale Cemetery or pre-purchase a space in the new columbarium, contact the Oakdale Cemetery office at 218-281-3991 or Lester Wilkens at 218-289-1956.


Oakdale Cemetery was established on May 2, 1884 and they’re a private non-profit tax deductible charitable organization meaning they receive no state, county or city financial assistance. The cemetery is home to a Civil War memorial and is the resting place for the namesake of the VFW Post #7 in Minneapolis, plus recipients of the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Navy Cross and Purple Heart. 

Wilkens says another upcoming project includes the refinishing of the grave stone of Medal of Honor recipient Andrew Kelley.