Mt Olivet Memorial Park, Zion
About Mt Olivet Memorial Park, Zion
Mt. Olivet Memorial Park, Ltd. was founded in 1902. Our first burial took place November 4, 1902, when a 68-year-old widow named Frederia Linden passed away.
Our cemetery was founded as a part of John Alexander Dowie’s vision of a utopian society that escaped the influence of evil in normal society. This utopian society is today known as Zion, IL. Dowie claimed to be the prophet Elijah and also claimed to have healing powers. Many people came to Zion as a result of a family member needing to be healed.
After many unfortunate events, Dowie’s life began to spiral downward. He died in Zion in 1907. An alcoholic at the time of his death, it is rumored he was not in good standing with the church and was not allowed to be buried at Mt. Olivet. For this reason, his grave is located in Lake Mound Cemetery, a small cemetery located in downtown Zion. Mt. Olivet was one of the first pieces of the Zion Industries to be sold by the church. We believe our cemetery has been independently owned since the 1940’s.
In 1979, Lee and LeAnna Fischer purchased the cemetery. LeAnna’s father, Everett Congdon, founded the Congdon Funeral Home in Zion that is still owned and operated by her brother, Loren Congdon. LeAnna passed away in 2003. Her husband, Lee, passed away in 2011. Mt. Olivet continues to be run by their children, LeNette Van Haverbeke and Lew Fischer.
Since Lee and LeAnna purchased it, Mt. Olivet has continued to grow. Building of a mausoleum complex complete with both niches, crypts and an indoor chapel began to be built in 1982 and continues to be expanded to this day. A crematorium was added in 1989 in response to the growing demand for crematory services with a second cremation unit added in 2008. Our new office was completed in fall of 2010. Future expansions include an outside gazebo, a cremation garden, more mausoleums, and a veterans’ memorial area.
We are proud of the fact that we are one of the few family-owned cemeteries in Lake County, Illinois.