FORT WAYNE — Charles J. Miller has recently been appointed superintendent of Catholic Cemetery and will begin his mission there on Jan. 5.
Miller, known to friends and business associates as Casey, brings seasoned experience to the position having been involved in cemetery and funeral home responsibilities since 1974, when he worked with Greenlawn Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Fort Wayne. He began as a maintenance crewmember as a young man, and over a 34-year span, moved into the positions of president of operations/owner, location manager and family service counselor. From 2008 to 2014, Miller worked with Memory Gardens, Stonemor Partners management in Indianapolis where he contributed to the operational aspects of cemeteries and funeral homes in Indiana and later at Greenlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park as Family Service Counselor.
A native of Fort Wayne and life-long Catholic, Miller is happy that his mission of serving families in their time of loss has led him to his new position at Catholic Cemetery. On hearing that the superintendent’s position was open he felt the calling to return to cemetery management. “This is my love, my calling, my mission,” says Miller. “Helping families in really difficult times regardless of their financial situation and caring for them after the burial is what I love to do.”
Miller and his wife Gloria are faithful parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne and he notes that his faith will play a role in his administration of the cemetery. “Faith is part of everything we do,” he says adding that he intends to uphold the Catholic traditions for burial and cremation there. Miller hopes to expand burial options for those preferring cremation in the future and says, “I will do my best to accommodate any request made by the family.”
As for his administration of the cemetery, Miller hopes that he can “bring the best level of service to all Catholic families regardless of their ability to pay” as he settles in his new position. “To me,” he says, “The Catholic cemetery is a sacred place.”
And leaning on his own experience of mowing cemetery grass as a young man, Miller also knows the value of well maintained grounds and says, “I want the grounds to be kept beautiful at all times.”
Miller feels outreach to area parishes is an important factor in the administration of the cemetery as well. “My mission is to make information (about Catholic Cemetery) available to the Catholics in the area. I believe all Catholics should be buried there. They belong there,” he says, adding that after care and community outreach in the form of sponsored walks and other programs will bring the Fort Wayne community in to the cemetery. Currently the cemetery hosts a memorial service the second weekend in December where families are invited to place an ornament in memory of their deceased loved one on a community Christmas tree.
As superintendent Miller plans to provide a positive and interactive environment for all the employees of the cemetery as well.
Miller has been executive director of the Indiana Cemetery Association since 2003 and has vast experience fielding calls from the 125 state cemeteries that sought a resolution to any number of issues that arise. Now as Catholic Cemetery superintendent, Miller says, “I would be delighted to assist parishes who have issues about their cemeteries. Please call me.”
Of his new mission Miller says, “Catholic Cemetery has a strong foundation and I am truly honored to be able to serve as superintendent. It is where I want to be.”
Catholic Cemetery was established in 1873 by Bishop Joseph Dwenger and is owned and operated by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The grounds reach across 175 acres located at 3500 Lake Ave. And according to its website “The Catholic Cemetery provides services to the Catholic families of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc. not only by making available resting places for their deceased members but also by providing pre-need services such as opening/closing of graves, granite memorials, vaults, final dates, vases/urns, Christmas wreaths and so on.”
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.