Eden Village Memorial Garden blessed by Bishop in Springfield


Seven people — all of whom had been homeless — were interred Thursday afternoon during the blessing of the Donnie Wayne Wagoner Memorial Garden at Eden Village.

“This is a holy and sacred place,” said Bishop Edward Rice, moments before blessing and leading the crowd of about 50 in prayer. 

Prior to each urn being placed in the columbarium, someone who knew the person spoke about their friend. 

Eden Village COO Nate Schlueter spoke about his friend, Darrell “Pops” Gravitt, who died in October. Gravitt had been homeless for more than 30 years before moving into a tiny home at Eden Village nearly two years ago. 

“Pops was my friend,” Schlueter said. “He knew Jesus and I know where he is today. It’s an honor to give him a dignified place to rest.”


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