Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Our Non-Profit Mission: Our goal is to serve the residents of Hawaii through education and affordable "pre-planning" and "at need" cremation, funeral, burial and mortuary services. Our operations support our Community Assistance Fund and maintain the scenic beauty and rich 174 year historic heritage of Oahu Cemetery & Crematory. Our fundamental service includes meeting with families to educate them as to the end of life issues, estimated costs and processes. The Oahu Cemetery & Crematory is not associated with a particular religious order and maintains the highest respect for the beliefs of all those we serve.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
Founded in 1844, Oahu Cemetery is Hawaii’s oldest public cemetery. The site originally named Nuuanu Cemetery, and was established at the height of the whaling era to meet the need for a public burial ground for Honolulu’s rapidly growing foreign population. On any given day, nearby Honolulu Harbor was filled to capacity with dozens of ships and hundreds of foreign sailors, merchants and adventurers from all over the world. Because Hawaiians did not have well defined, Western-style burial grounds with individually marked plots, and because Kawaiahao Church Cemetery (the first foreign cemetery established in the islands in 1829) only admitted those foreigners who were either Protestant or Christian. Those others were left without “fitting and proper” burial ground. The founders of Oahu Cemetery were residents who were concerned for the burial needs of their own families, and for those souls who died here without families. These residents also wanted a more “modern” burial ground, like the ones being established in America and Great Britain at the time. The original 4.5 acre site in lower Nuuanu Valley was chosen because of its proximity to the harbor, and because frequent rains in the valley make the soil easy to dig and irrigate. It would be outside the city limits, yet would be an easy carriage ride from most homes in town. Today, Oahu Cemetery’s 18 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with over 25,000 burials and contains the most abundant collection of 19th Century grave art in Hawaii. Please note that Oahu Cemetery & Crematory welcomes all individuals and families regardless of their ethnic or religious background.
Oahu Cemetery Association dba Oahu Cemetery & Crematory, is an independent non-profit 501(c)(13) corporation governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Income generated from its cemetery operations & crematory along with its professionally managed perpetual care trust fund assures that the cemetery is maintained in perpetuity. All funds generated from the services and products provided to the general public are used to 1) support our educational outreach program; 2) supplement cremation costs to enable affordable direct cremation services to Hawaii's residents and 3) are invested into the maintenance and upkeep of the 18 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds which are now the permanent resting place of over 25,000 Hawaii residents including many historic and influential individuals.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible. Together, we make this place amazing.