Pinelawn Memorial Park continues to embrace lives after 100 years

Anniversary Celebrations: Pinelawn Memorial Park

(L to R) Back row: Sidney Taber, Quinn Steinmetz, Katie Colbeck, Matthew Pagel, Heidi Bischmann, Tony Anderson, Stephanie Lundgren Front row: Clyde Rupnow, Christine Toson, David Line
(L to R) Back row: Sidney Taber, Quinn Steinmetz, Katie Colbeck, Matthew Pagel, Heidi Bischmann, Tony Anderson, Stephanie Lundgren Front row: Clyde Rupnow, Christine Toson, David Line

Pinelawn Memorial Park is a prominent, progressive cemetery that was established June 30, 1922 by prominent businessmen who saw the need to add a memorial park on the edge of the city and at the end of the bus route in place at that time. 

Sitting on over 100 acres of land, the entrepreneurs understood that this location would be the perfect location for an accessible, yet suburban burial park for the community. 

Over the years, Pinelawn has embraced the history that is created by lives that have been lived in this community. Memorial Park staff work with families to create comfortable, meaningful and personalized ways to tell life stories of their loved ones through the memorialization they choose. Considering itself to be a place for the living to remember vs. a place for the dead, Pinelawn works to create a peaceful environment for visitors. 

Death is a conversation that cannot be avoided, although it can be a difficult one to have. 

Since its beginning, Pinelawn has promoted and encouraged pre-planning, so that families can have a commonsense conversation about their own cemetery and funeral wishes without the emotional burden of the need to make these choices at the time of a death. 

Pinelawn takes pride in helping this conversation be as simple and easy to understand as possible. Having a variety of choices for burial arrangements that meet different budgets, religious cultures, life stories, etc. is important since everyone has their own story. 

In addition to Pinelawn celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is proud to also be celebrating 70 years of ownership under the Toson family. Family owned and operated cemeteries are unique in Wisconsin, as well as the entire country. Purchased in 1952 by Harold E. Toson, Pinelawn was managed by him and his two sons, Robert W. and Harold N. Toson. Over time, Robert bought the cemetery from his father and brother and eventually sold it to his son, William R. Toson in 1989. William brought his daughter, Christine into the business in 1995 and she worked into full management of Pinelawn in 2000. She purchased it in 2016. 

“Four Generations of Caring for Generations to Come” is the tag line for Pinelawn as well as the three other cemeteries that Christine owns in Wisconsin. 

Pinelawn has incorporated different types of arrangements for above ground burial (crypts and niches), in ground burial and to accommodate cremation burial options.  And while cremation rates are rising throughout the country, Pinelawn’s values and beliefs are that cremation is a form of final disposition, but in no way means a life should not be permanently and properly remembered, celebrated and memorialized… for every life, every person, every family and every type of burial.

Pinelawn is a cemetery that creates a special and permanent place for the living to feel comfortable remembering people and their lives today and for generations to come.

Pinelawn Memorial Park
10700 W Capitol Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53222
pinelawn.net
414.461.4612

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Christine Toson owns, operates and manages three divisions within the End-of-Life Field. Tribute Cemetery Systems owns and operates four cemeteries throughout Wisconsin. This division is four generations strong and continues to grow and serve the Milwaukee, Wausau, Green Bay and Lake Country Markets. Christine is active in her community, including current service on the Board of Directors for Rogers Memorial Behavioral Health Foundation adn continuing service as a Board Member, and past President of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin