Oleander Memorial Gardens was developed on land owned by Randolph “Randy” Ladd and Iona “Billie” Coble. The property encompassed approximately 40 acres and included a two acre lake. Prior to development of the cemetery, the land was the Coble family’s horse farm. The fence lined pastures and single lane dirt paths were the foundation for our gardens and roads.
Construction began in 1966 and the first burial at the cemetery was made in 1967. In following years, many people from other local cemeteries were reinterred at Oleander Memorial Gardens, giving the impression that the cemetery is much older than it really is. The dirt roads were widened and paved, and the gardens were built where horses once grazed. The lake on the property was formed by concrete boulders from the old Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge; the boulders were floated to the site on a barge and put in place by heavy cranes.
By 1974, the Flag, Hillcrest, Oak, and Whispering Pines sections were completed. The Oak Garden mausoleum was constructed in 1974 and was mostly completed when Iona “Billie” Coble passed away at Christmas 1974. Oleander Memorial Gardens, along with its sister company, Coble Funeral Service, joined the Dignity Memorial® network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers in mid-1976.