Serving Arizona’s veterans

Bonnie Dudelston

Bonnie Dudelston

Dick Kroese

Bonnie Dudelston, Administrator of the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Marana, gave a wonderful presentation to the SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club about the cemetery, which is located on 32 acres of high desert landscaped property. Phase one of the cemetery includes 1802 burial plots, 1638 cremated remains burial plots and 1920 Columbarium niches. The first interment was in 2016. Five phases are currently planned for the cemetery.

The Kai Family Foundation donated the land in 2013 to the Arizona Department of Veterans Services for the cemetery. The property has been in the Kai family since the mid-1940s. John Kai Sr. and Mamie Kai were Chinese immigrants who built one of the largest cotton farms in the Avra Valley. The cemetery was made possible by a grant from the Department of Veterans’ Administration to the state of Arizona, authorizing the State to operate and maintain the Veterans’ Cemetery.

Burial in the Veterans’ Cemetery is open to all eligible members of the Armed Forces. The veteran’s spouse and qualifying dependents are also eligible for burial. Also eligible for burial are members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

All funeral services are held in a committal shelter rather than at the gravesite. This provides a suitable location for military honors and for family members. The next of kin or family’s funeral director of choice may make arrangements directly with the cemetery staff. Phone number for the veterans’ cemetery in Marana is 520-638-4869. The cemetery address is 15950 N. Luckett Road, Marana, Arizona 85653. Ms. Dudelston welcomed all of us to visit the cemetery and see it for ourselves.

No one likes to think too much about the possibility of no longer being around. But making arrangements for your death is crucial. Furthermore, as a veteran, it is vital that you have put financial reserves in place to ensure the financial security of your family. Taking out a life insurance policy is one way to protect your family in the future. You can find some great information about life insurance for veterans at

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club is proud of all our members who make contributions of time and money to assist those within our community and over the world. Won’t you join us in making a difference? We meet every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the MountainView Country Club. Please contact Ron Lenz, membership chair, at 262-358-0130.