A classic approach to memorializing loved ones with stones

MUSKEGON, Mich. – It’s a business that’s been a corner stone in the Muskegon community since the early 1900’s and the owner prides himself in making memorial stones the old fashioned way.

Since 1901, The Muskegon Monument & Stone Company has been making headstones to be placed at the graves of loved ones.

The current owner has been honing his craft for decades.

“I take pride in my work, I’ve been doing it for last 35 years. [I've] done over 12,000 stones personally just me," says Brooks Wheeler, owner of Muskegon Monument & Stone Company.

A lot of the machines in the shop are very old. And rather than use computers to help, he does his etching by hand.

“Lots of deer on stones, lots of animals on stones, lots of crosses and of course I’m always putting flowers on stones," says Wheeler.

Wheeler just finished a memorial stone for Kyle Grant, a Forensics Technician for the Grand Rapids Police Department, who died in a car crash back in January.

“Yes I just got the stone done for him, it’s going up to Whitehall Cemetery,” says Wheeler.

Grant was just 27-years-old and engaged to be married this fall. As part of his memorial stone, Wheeler carved in images of a deer, film reel and University of Michigan logo.

Once the stones get done with etching, they are sand blasted before being washed. Then, the finished memorial stone is ready to make a loved one’s memory live on.

“I know how important it is so I do the best I can on every stone,” says Wheeler.

The company also makes memorial stones for pets.

Wheeler says each stone takes about a month to complete.

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