History of Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home
In 1926, Asher Peter and a group of like-minded civic leaders founded Woodlawn Memorial Park. Woodlawn was designed to be more than a memorial park cemetery. It was intended to be a beautiful park that would express ideals of life, hope, loving care and a new beginning.
Robert Neel joined the staff at Woodlawn in 1949. He was very active in the community and helped Woodlawn grow. In the years in which he owned the cemetery. Mr. Neel and his son, Asher, were instrumental in the planning and preparation of the Life of Christ Mosaic and many of the other features that now adorn our park. Many additions were made at Woodlawn as it expanded over the years.
In 1954, Woodlawn began to develop the gardens that would eventually have religious themes. The first garden was the Garden of the Apostles. Other gardens followed including the Garden of the Last Supper. A Masonic garden was also developed with a bronze statue of George Washington. Many of the gardens are adorned with sculpture of Carrera marble. Some include the “'Pieta” and the “Last Supper.”
Woodlawn now includes several gardens devoted to honoring our veterans. The cemetery also has a memorial dedicated to military members and another one dedicated to the memory of those that perished in the 9/11 attacks. In 1986, the Cremation Garden of Memories was added to enhance the cemetery and to provide families many more options within the cemetery grounds. A graceful fountain adorns this garden, making it a peaceful and serene place to reflect. In 2008, Woodlawn added the Arbor Estates area to the cemetery. This beautiful park-like setting features a stream with a waterfall and fountains. Trees frame the area to provide a tranquil setting for families to sit and listen to the water as they visit loved ones. This garden is the first of its kind in any cemetery in the Orlando, Florida area. It features both traditional burial spaces as well as interment areas for those families that select cremation. The beautiful Life of Christ Mosaic (found at the Mausoleum of Christian Heritage), is modeled after a similar mosaic at a cemetery in California. Depicting the life of Christ in 23 scenes (with a center panel showing the risen Christ), it represents the quality of artwork that adorns our cemetery. Crafted in Italy and assembled in Orlando, the mosaic is made of more than 11 million pieces of glass. Unveiled in 1993, it now serves as an impressive backdrop for our annual Easter sunrise service. Featuring music from local artists and various clergy, the service has become a tradition for families in the area.
In 1976, Woodlawn added a funeral home to the cemetery property, making Woodlawn the first cemetery in the state of Florida to have a funeral home on the cemetery grounds.
Today, we're proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.