Memorial Park Cemetery – Caring for Tulsa’s Memories


The memory of a deceased person that you hold dear can affect you in many ways. People try to connect with the departed soul in a variety of ways. Remembering the mannerisms, the things of joy, the moments spent together, and cherishing the good deeds a person committed throughout their life. The practice of holding memorials and building sites specifically for the deceased has been acted upon for centuries. Since the horrors of World War II, memorial architecture has changed drastically, from slates focusing on names, honors, and patriotic identities to imposing symbols of mourning and loss.

The memorial is unique and one of the few types of architecture whose basic purpose is to feel and remember. Humans have always needed something permanent and tangible to make sense of loss, to create a physical connection in the atmosphere, and to a place specifically located for the remembrance and purpose of prayer. Memorial architecture offers a space where one can remember, mourn and try to make sense of emotions associated with the deceased person. In many ways, the function of the memorial is to both soothe the pain and give comfort to the connected people. When you get a feeling of loss and need to visit, the memory of the deceased memorial plays that part to fill the void and provide comfort.

The largest cemetery in the six-state area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the 10th largest cemetery in the US is The Memorial Park Cemetery – established in 1927. It is a non-sectarian, not-for-profit trust estate guided by a Board of Trustees and operated by a trained and caring staff. The mission of Memorial Park Cemetery has been and will continue to provide a place of care for the memories of the Tulsa community.

The founder of the facility was C.W Beck. Beck built the building with a resemblance to the Spanish building “The Alamo.” He used this style to honor his wife, who belonged from San Antonio. Beck purchased 160 acres, that were then about 6 miles outside of Tulsa’s city limits, and built the huge 5,000-square-foot chapel (now used primarily as offices). His idea was to build a modern-style cemetery. Beck lost interest in the cemetery in 1933, but the cemetery has survived and grown to 240 acres with many interesting monuments and statues. The service provided by Memorial Park cemetery is burial, entombment, mausoleums, crypts, burial estates, urn niches, urn benches, and boulders. The facility also provides granite monuments, granite memorial markers, and bronze memorial markers. The Chapel at Memorial Park is offered to its families with the assistance of an Oklahoma-licensed funeral director to use free of charge on a first-come-first-serve basis for funeral and memorial services.

The Chapel of Saints Valley seats approximately 125 people. The chapel may be used twice a day. The first service time is at 10:00 AM and the second at 2:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.

The other sector is Memorial Park family center. It offers a state-of-the-art family center for families to be used before or after the service of a loved one. The family center has two large dining rooms that can be converted to one large room if needed. These rooms are limited to accommodate seventy-five persons each. Memorial Park also has a smaller area that accommodates twenty-five people. It gives a very homey feel with a fireplace and an area for coffee. Throughout the cemetery, there are notable and renowned personalities buried.

The first burial was Bertha Rogers in 1927. Others include Roy Clark (the legendary super picker, Grammy, CMA, and ACM award winner), Reverend Billy Joe Daugherty (founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma), Frank Christian Frantz (a former Oklahoma Governor), Moscelyne Larkin Jasinski (a Native American ballerina from Oklahoma), Roman Jasinski (a Polish ballet dancer and founder of the Tulsa Ballet), Sam Kinison (an American stand-up comedian, and actor), Carl Wendle Morton (a Major League baseball player), Dr. T.L. Osborn (a world missionary evangelist, statesman, teacher, author, publisher, linguist, designer, pianist, and administrator), Steve Pryor (a renowned blues guitarist), James Dorn Oglesby (a Major League baseball player), Reverend Oral Roberts (an American Methodist-Pentecostal televangelist and a Christian charismatic), Evelyn Lutman Roberts (an evangelist who played a vital role in Oral Roberts’ ministry), Leon Russell (an American musician, songwriter, and producer), Albert E. Schwab (a Medal of Honor recipient), Wayman Tisdale (an American professional basketball player in the NBA), Michael Richard Walker (Disc Jockey), Jerald T. Webber (Longtime Tulsa broadcaster), Bob Wills (a country music singer, songwriter, and bandleader), Billy Jack Wills (a western musician, vocalist, songwriter, and guitar player, is best known for being a member of the western swing band the Texas Playboys), and Johnnie Lee Wills (a radio personality and one of the original Texas Playboys on tenor banjo).

The working process of the cemetery is to provide dignified care for those buried and entombed on the grounds and to make a comforting place for guests visiting the cemetery to remember, pay tribute, and honor the deceased individuals. Preserving the name and identity of a deceased individual years after they are gone provides people with a sense of continuity and helps them preserve their legacy. Each generation can locate the graves in the cemetery and find their ancestors. Their key goal is to continue providing a tranquil place for families and guests to remember, pay tribute, and honor their loved ones.

The places like cemeteries are considered noble and very dearer to people in the context of their loved ones buried there. In the loving memory of an individual, people visit and pay tribute to the memory of their lives and reconnect with their thoughts.