top of page

What is the Cortland Rural Cemetery Angel Society

Established by the now-dessolved CRC Foundation n the Fall of 2013, the Cortland Rural Cemetery Angel Society recognizes and honors individuals and families who have made a major lifetime contribution or who have established a legacy gift benefiting the Cortland Rural Cemetery. On occasion, the cemetery Trustees (who now manage the Society) may also elect to induct volunteers or others whose in-kind, financial, or service contributions are deemed to be extraordinary. In each of these cases, Angel Society members are generous benefactors who have demonstrated a deep appreciation for the cemetery’s primary mission of providing a peaceful, respectful, and well-cared-for final resting place for our community’s loved ones, and an abiding appreciation for the cemetery’s intrinsic historic, cultural, and natural value.

Why become an official Angel Society member?

By joining the Society – you allow us to express our appreciation and help us plan for the future. Of course, if you prefer to quietly make your gifts to the Cortland Rural Cemetery without officially becoming a member of our Angel Society, we will honor your request.

What are the membership benefits of the Angel Society?

Membership offers many benefits, including:

  • Inclusion on the Angel Society membership plaque located in the Gibson Memorial Chapel

  • Recognition in the Society’s membership roster published on the cemetery website

  • Inclusion on the Society mailing list, used for occasional, notices, and invitation to Society and public events

  • And other forms of recognition that the CRC Trustees wishes to introduce

Membership Criteria

When you make a major gift in your lifetime (cumulative value equal to or greater than $5,000) or notify us in writing of your intent to make a

similarly sized legacy gift through a trust, bequest, or other planned gift -- you become eligible for membership in the Angel Society. Your lifetime or legacy gift may be unrestricted (it can be used at the discretion of the Cortland Rural Cemetery Trustees) – or restricted for a specific use (such as building the CRC's interest-bearing endowment fund, maintaining roads or grounds, purchasing equipment, or funding staff salaries). In addition to simple ‘cash’ contributions, other qualifying gifts include:

  • A bequest by will or living trust

  • A life insurance policy, be it a policy that is no longer needed for its original purpose or a new policy enabling a substantial future gift at a modest annual cost

  • A gift of retirement plan assets (e.g. IRAs, bank accounts, 401ks, etc.) which might otherwise be subject to 'double taxation,' limiting their value to your heirs

  • A charitable gift annuity, providing lifetime income to you or a loved one, as well as income and estate tax savings; this type of gift must be set up by a licensed legal or financial adviser

  • A charitable remainder trust, providing lifetime income for you or a family member, income and estate tax savings, and the avoidance of capital gains taxes on highly appreciated property

  • A charitable lead trust, which is an intergenerational wealth-transfer strategy enabling you to provide for your heirs and the cemetery – while also sharply reducing gift and estate taxes

  • Establishing a permanent endowment fund for a specific purpose

  • Other gifts and giving strategies may qualify

To develop a legacy-giving approach that’s right for you, contact your legal or tax adviser to discuss your goals. Or, for simple ‘cash’ donations, feel free to contact the Cortland Rural Cemetery directly.

Can a gift be used immediately by the cemetery?

Yes. Just indicate your preferred use (either a designated activity or general operations) when you make your gift via a cover note or a notation on your check.You may also choose to direct your gift to our Endowment Fund, where it will remain in an interest-bearing account that helps to fund cemetery operations over time.Or you can designate your gift as a non-Endowment, non-designated resource that the cemetery can use on an as-, where-needed basis — under advisement of the Trustees.


Is there standard ’language’ one might use to direct a legacy gift/bequest to the cemetery?

Your legal or tax advisor can assist with this, but a tried-and-true starting point is:

I give ($) (%) of my estate to the Cortland Rural Cemetery, PO Box 288, Cortland, NY 13045 (tax ID 15-0279170). My bequest shall be (a.) used at the cemetery's discretion, (b.) applied toward the cemetery's Endowment, or (c.) applied toward [insert specific cemetery activity, project, or expense].

Learn more, today!

The Cortland Rural Cemetery is grateful that you are considering us in your philanthropic planning. To discuss your interest in making a major or planned gift, please contact a Trustee of the cemetery at:

Cortland Rural Cemetery

110 Tompkins Street

Cortland, NY 13045


Interested in making a major gift to the cemetery — or underwriting a specific need or initiative? Contact the cemetery

for a current list of needs and naming opportunities!

Angel Society Inaugural Event (May 17)

On May 17, 2015 -- the inaugural gathering of the newly formed CRC Angel Society was held at the Gibson Memorial Chapel on the cemetery grounds. The event recognized the society's first members (listed below); featured remarks from Foundation Board President Bob Howe, society inductee Dr. James Clark, and President of the CRC Trustees, John Hoeschele (shown at left, reading names from the society's about-to-be-installed plaque); and featured entertainment from Cortland High School's Dynamic Paws a cappella group. Thank you to all who participated and planned this lovely event -- and thanks also, of course, to our Angels!

2015 / Inaugural Inductees

  • Donald “Bud” & Diane Ames

  • William S. Brewer Sr. (deceased)

  • James & Patricia Clark

  • Louise Conley

  • Cortland Community Foundation

  • Fenstermacher Fund / CNY Community Foundation

  • Douglas & Carol Brewer Fenton

  • Deborah & Stephen Geibel

  • Charles Gibson (deceased)

  • Margaret Gibson (deceased)

  • Homer (deceased) & Martha Gutchess

  • Dr. R. Paul Higgins Jr. (deceased)

  • Higgins Supply Company

  • Ann Hinchcliff

  • John & Lisa Hoeschele

  • Robert Howe

  • J.M. McDonald Foundation

  • James & Christine Place

  • Stephen & Dianne Robinson

  • Barbara Brewer Rogers (deceased)

  • Charles & Elizabeth Spaulding

  • Ralph Wilkins Foundation

bottom of page