Resthaven was established in 1947 by the Kenneth R. White family. Mr. White purchased 80 acres of land on what is now the south east corner of 104th and Western Avenue in south Oklahoma City. When Mr. White opened Resthaven, Western Avenue was a dirt road, and city water was not available this far south. Mr. White had the lake at Resthaven constructed as a way of capturing rain water for irrigation purposes.
Today, the lake serves as a peaceful reservoir for the families to visit and reflect on life’s memories. The first offices for Resthaven were located at 2806 South Harvey in the Capitol Hill Business District of Oklahoma City. Mr. White felt it would be better to have an office closer into town than at the cemetery, which was considered to be “out in the country.” Over the years, many new services have been added to Resthaven. The first burial at Resthaven was an unclaimed baby girl. She was laid to rest here on November 6th, 1947. In the late 1950s, Resthaven built the first family mausoleum and columbarium. In the 1960s, Resthaven built the first crematory in the Oklahoma City area. The Little Chapel of the Roses was also constructed in 1960. Not only has The Little Chapel been the home to funerals, it has also been home to several startup churches and weddings. In 1970, the first lawn crypts in south Oklahoma City were built. Our newest lawn crypt garden was completed at the end of 2010. With the 80s came expansion, and additional acreage was purchased on the south side of Resthaven, totaling 113 acres, only 68 of which has been developed. Additional mausoleum buildings, the garden of the Holy Family, the Garden of the Prophets, the Garden of Hope, the new Veterans Garden and the Garden of Valor were then introduced.
In 1986, the elegant Resthaven Funeral Home was built on the north east corner of the cemetery. The 20,000-square-foot facility is home to Oklahoma City's most beautiful and peaceful chapel, equipped with a modern state-of-the-art audio and video projection system. The cemetery and prearrangement offices, as well as the administration and general offices for Resthaven, are also conveniently located in this beautiful facility. In the 1990s, the Garden of Serenity was developed. This was Resthaven's first garden to be designed with an automatic irrigation system. Beautiful granite-constructed niche columbaria were also added in the Garden of Serenity for families that desire to properly and respectfully entomb cremated remains.
Resthaven has been chosen twice to host the venue for the touring display of the Vietnam Wall Memorial. More than 25,000 people participated in this emotional and historical event. After the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, eleven of those that perished in the attack were buried in Resthaven Memory Gardens. Each of these eleven victims are respectfully honored with a Resthaven Memorial Bench that includes their name and picture.
Later in 1995, Resthaven developed the Garden of Remembrance. This garden was specifically designed to accommodate beautiful upright granite memorials. The University of Oklahoma Health Science Center inters individuals who have donated themselves for medical research at Resthaven. A special bronze tablet is installed over the space where these individuals are interred. It’s a very fitting tribute to a group that has offered themselves to help others.
Resthaven has been nationally recognized by the National Funeral Directors Association with the prestigious 'Pursuit of Excellence' award. This award is attained by offering unique programming, outstanding accomplishment in funeral service, and innovative achievement in the fields of professional, educational and community service. Resthaven is the only funeral home in Oklahoma City to hold this distinguished honor. Caring for our community is a responsibility we take very seriously. We pay close attention to detail and strive very hard to listen to your family's needs and tailor the funeral and cemetery service specifically around a life lived. No other funeral home or cemetery has the ability to customize services and merchandise like Resthaven Funeral Home and Memory Gardens.