Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

The First Graveyard in Estevan
The Grace Pioneer Cemetery

NW 1/2-Sec 13-Twp 2-Rge 8-West 2nd Meridian
Established as early as 1884, last burial early 1919.
Located SE of the Village.
Some of the graves were moved to the Estevan City Cemetery, ca 1918, some remained.
2016/2017 this cemetery has been cleaned up and restored, thanks to many local volunteers.

2nd Cemetery in the area
Estevan City Municipal Cemetery

NW 1/4 Sec 27-Twp 2- Rge 8- West 2nd Meridian
Located north of Pleasantdale school, is the 2nd oldest graveyard in Estevan,
First Burial in 1900.
Lat- 49° 09' 36.79 North
Long- 103° 00' 18.25 West

Owned and Maintained by the City of Estevan
Cemetery Inquiries -306-634-1880

Any inquiries for Grave Locations, go to the Leisure Services Office, in the Library /Swimming Pool Complex, all the records are computerized, and they were kind enough to provide a map with the grave location noted. Very impressive!

My Personal Recollections of the Estevan City Cemetery:
During the summer months of 1968 and 1969, I worked for the Estevan City Recreation and Parks Department, and I had a super Foreman, named Tommy Graham. My job along with others in the crew, included cutting the grass at this Cemetery, for one place, but also to hand dig graves here.

Death seems to always occur in 3's, when we had one, we knew 2 more followed. If the burial was in sections 12, 13, 2, 3 or 4 in the map above, usually the backhoe was used. But any old family plots in sections 5 to 10 that had the Cement curbing, and huge headstones, with plots already occupied, had to be dug by hand. Anyone that has dug a hole in this part of Saskatchewan, knows the conditions. It wasn't easy. Blue Clay, and Rocks. Pick and Shovel all the way down. 2 men in the hole. The opening had to be exactly 4 x 8 feet rectangle shape, with straight up and down walls, down to an exact depth of 6 feet. This was measured by us, and the Funeral Directors at the time. It had to be right, as a rough pine box was lowered into the hole, which would hold the casket. They would supply the artificial grass to cover the dirt mound, and the side of the grave. Then the lowering mechanism was placed over this.

After the burial, the Funeral Director would lead the mourners away, and circle back around, to Supervise the start of the burial. They had to watch us nail the top of the pine box on, then cover the lid completely with dirt, before they could leave. We then would finish shoveling the dirt in, which was easier than digging it out!

I doubt if there are anymore open plots in this area, and not many hand dug graves occur in this Cemetery anymore. It was an experience of a lifetime. What amazed me, the records for the cemetery at that time, were on a rolled up Venetian blind, used to darken your window. And the records were not that great, as we found out one day.

We had a burial in Section 7 I think it was, and there were 3 plots, circled by cement of course, and surrounded by others, with only 4-5 feet walkways between them. In the plot, on one end, was a lilac bush about 10 feet tall. The map showed 2 buried, and the open plot was supposed to be the plot on the opposite end from the tree. Me and the other guy, started to dig, and after 3 feet of hard digging, my shovel hit what sounded like a metal object. After a few more shovel fulls, we realized we hit an occupied plot, and it was a copper metal box, used by some to repel intruding animals. It scared the hell out of me, and you never seen a grave get filled in faster!

It turned out the unused plot was under the tree. Another story!!! In those days I actually had abs!

Cutting the grass was another story, No gas weed whippers in those days, All this area was cut by hand mowers, and hand trimmed around the cement borders. All of this in 100 degree summer weather I might add! There was only a few trees for shade. I think we did a good job, and had respect for those that are buried there.

Some of my family are buried there:


AMALIE (MAE) (MAY) GESELL, nee WENDEL, My Grandmother

They say you can find Humour anywhere, if you are looking for it, and even in this somber place, I used to stop and read this Epitaph in section 5, I think it is, and it would bring a grin to my face. I think it is one of the better ones I have seen and would maybe stop a lot of wars, if the words were listened to. Sorry, Picture is a bit faded, transcription below.
God doesn't give a Damn about Denominations, All He Likes is Old Fashioned Christians!

The 3rd Cemetery in the area:
Souris Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery

View North from the Cemetery access road

First burial here was in 1958
Located- SW 1/4 Sec 5, Twp 3- Rge 8- West of the 2nd Meridian
3 miles West of Estevan, South Side of Highway 39
Lat- 49° 10' 45.78 North
Long- 103° 03' 27.04 West

Head Office:
1506 4th St., Estevan SK, S4A 0X6
Phone: 306-634-3033
Fax: 306-634-7988

In 2007, This Cemetery, and the Orsted Funeral Home in Estevan, were owned by the conglomerate Loewen Group Inc., who seem to be buying up all the Funeral Homes, and now these private Cemeteries also, which I don't think in my simple mind, is a good thing for John Q Public. They will not be in the business to loose money!

Some of my Family are Buried here:
Uncles and Aunts, and Cousins are buried here,
And most important to me, My Dad and My Mom are buried here.

My Mom and Dad,


Other family Members:

My Uncle and Aunt


My Uncle and Aunt


My Uncle and Aunt

My Cousin, daughter of Roy and Dolly Backman

No Headstone picture yet

My Uncle and Aunt

Online Cemetery Records

Now some nice people a few years ago, like Rosemary Mack, took many hours, and transcribed the records for these Cemeteries. I thank her and others for doing that. I now hear Rosemary passed away in 2009, and am very sorry to hear that. After doing Genealogy for years now, and working in the Cemetery for many months, it wasn't until today, Good Friday, March 21, 2008 that I realized twins, brother and sister to my Mom, are buried in the Estevan City Cemetery. The name was spelled incorrectly in the records, was one reason I missed it I guess. I was also incorrectly told they were buried on a farm north of town. Shows how important these records are.
Please check them out:

Note, indexes on Rootsweb now also, and I see no credit is given to the source of the records??
see note below—

NOTE- these are NOT MY PAGES! these are EXT links, they may or may not work in the future.
I don't, and can't, take credit for any of them.

Grace Pioneer Cemetery on Rootsweb

Estevan City Cemetery
find a grave

Souris Valley Cemetery
find a grave

2007- Hall Funeral Services, as far as I know is locally owned and operated.
1506 - 4th Street., Estevan, SK S4A 0X6
(former Orsted Funeral Home building
Phone: (306) 634-8233


  • Last modified: 2020/12/17 14:30
  • by dlgent