Dirks-Blem Funeral Service is pleased to offer you assistance in designing and installing a cemetery grave marker or monument. Having sold and installed over 1500 cemetery memorials we have the experience to make the process simple and seamless....from listening to your ideas, to obtaining a design layout for your approval, to installation at the cemetery. We are pleased to use Braham Monument Company as our supplier and you are welcome to look at their website to get some ideas before we meet personally to start the order process. - Braham Monuments

Items we will assist you with in designing a cemetery memorial.

1. Style
LAWN LEVEL….installed flush with the ground.
            Common sizes are (single) 24” x 12”; (companion) 36” x 12” or  42” x 14”
BEVELED PILLOW Shape….sits above the ground 6 inches along back side and is beveled down to 4 inches tall along the front edge.
            Common sizes are (single) 24” x 12”; (companion) 36” x 12”
WEDGE Shape…basically looks like a monument but is not as tall and the front side is angled at a slant. Normally placed on a granite base to keep a lawn mower from scratching the front polished area.
            Common sizes are (single) 24” x  10” x 20” tall; (companion) 36” x 10” x 20” tall
MONUMENT shape… traditional upright design may be of varying heights and thickness.
            Common Size of the  Panel for a Companion Monument  is 36” wide x 6” thick x either 20” or 24” tall….. and vary from there in height, width and thickness… and placed on a granite base.

2. Color of Granite
Granite is quarried in many different areas of the world. Certain colors are only found in each region which effects overall availability. Granite colors that look attractive on a hotel counter or a church pillar are not necessarily the best choice for engraving a cemetery monument. You will find it easier to read the inscriptions on granites without “swirls” in the coloring or are pale in color.

General color range used for cemetery memorials are:

  • Grey to grey/black to very black range
  • Pink to brown to red range
  • Blue and green range

3. Inscriptions and carvings
When you visit a cemetery do you like memorials very simple in design or with items sharing more information? As an example; do you like just the years of birth and death or the actual month, day and year listed? Do you like marriage dates or children’s names listed if that is your family situation or a cleaner look with less inscriptions? Do you like carvings of a religious symbol like praying hands or a cross or perhaps a carving depicting something important in your life, i.e. a fishing boat, a sheaf of wheat, flowers, etc…?

Do you like the lettering to be in a rectangular panel showing a polished letter, or do you prefer a frosted letter against an all polished panel? Do you like all the lettering to be the same block style or prefer some of the inscription in italics?  On a monument do you like to see the last name on the “back side”?

4. Cemetery placement
Are there limitations to size and style of a memorial at your cemetery? Are you allowed to have flowers there for limited time periods?  Would you like a hole in the cement foundation to allow sturdy placement of an upright flower planter?

​5. Cost
The main factors determining the cost of a monument are the color of granite and the size of the memorial. Variables are how many additional sides of an upright memorial are polished beyond the normal surfaces and if writing is selected for the “back side”.  We are proud to provide memorials from the Braham Monument Company, Braham, MN that celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2007. Dirks-Blem Funeral Service has utilized their services for many years and has placed over 1500 memorials in Renville County Cemeteries.