About Us

Since opening in 1861, Stockton Rural Cemetery has impressed visitors with its distinctive memorials, private mausoleums and myriad tombstones, all situated among tree-lined walkways. It’s a favorite place for visitors, joggers, history buffs, as well as families whose loved ones rest here.

Our excellent service is well known, too. We are an integral part of the community, serving the memorial needs of Stockton families with compassionate and forthright professionalism. This kind of dedication is and will always be a top priority at Stockton Rural Cemetery.

Stockton Rural Cemetery is a non-profit endowment care cemetery managed by our Board of Trustees and governed by the State of California

A Colorful History

The California Gold Rush of 1849 turned Stockton from a sleepy town into a bustling crossroads for miners pursuing their dreams of golden wealth. The Port of Stockton on the San Joaquin River was navigable by ocean-going vessels, so it served as easy access for trade and transportation to the southern gold mines.

There was no government at the time to take charge of burials. Therefore, interment happened wherever it was convenient, which became an issue as the population grew. When a city government was established,  an official first cemetery was opened, and later a second. Unfortunately, there were no fences surrounding the grounds, so livestock and vandals became problems and the cemeteries were closed.

The City of Stockton’s founder, Captain Charles Maria Weber, entered the picture to raise money for a proper cemetery. With his donation of $1,000 along with the Rural Trustees pitching in $1,700, land was purchased. Stockton Rural Cemetery was built and welcomed guests through its beautiful, hand wrought iron gates in 1861. It remains one of the few privately-owned rural cemeteries in California operating under the State Act of 1859.

Meet Our Dedicated Staff

You can expect the highest level of compassion and support from our team at Stockton Rural Cemetery. They ensure that you are given the dedicated service that you expect and deserve. You will find assistance with property selection, pre-need planning, funeral service coordination, memorial markers, flower arrangements and other needs.

Ruben Sanchez

Cemetery Manager

Ruben has been a dedicated team member since 1998. For the past 20 years, he has been committed to serving the Stockton community both in his work and volunteerism. Ruben believes that his role as Cemetery Manager is a “calling” and fulfills his duties with great pride and dedication. As a volunteer, he is involved with his church’s activities and the local youth sports programs. A home-grown Stocktonian, Rueben has been married for over 30 years, raising his son Gabriel who is now a lawyer practicing in Southern California.

Saundra Reyes, Juris Doctorate

Office Manager

Saundra began her career at Stockton Rural Cemetery in 2016 as a part-time team member, and was later promoted to Office Manager. She is currently facilitating the variety of upgrades and changes throughout the Cemetery, making it more accessible to the community. Saundra also makes it a priority to serve the families that entrust the care of their loved ones to the Stockton Rural Cemetery. Saundra is a Stockton native and an alumna of Saint Mary’s High School. She received her BA in political science from California State University, East Bay, and earned a Juris Doctorate from Humphrey’s College, Laurence Drivon School of Law, in Stockton.