Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Willie Roberts, center, Ramon Navarro, left, and John Morris, right, work together to close a grave at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. Roberts started working at the cemetery in 1967 when he was 18.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Groundskeeper Sammy Treto wipes down the inside of a vault.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Groundskeeper Brian Roberts is reflected in a mirror in one of the mausoleums at the cemetery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Sammy Treto's shadow is cast onto a casket as he lowers it into a crypt. "I'm learning I have to be strong at what I do," he said.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Sammy Treto removes dirt from a lawn crypt as he prepares for a burial.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Sammy Treto, left, operates the backhoe as Ramon Navarro, right, assists in lifting a piece of the top of a lawn crypt at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Dark clouds are reflected in the front door of one of the mausoleums at the cemetery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

A visitor takes flowers to the cemetery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Sammy Treto, right, and Ramon Navarro take a break from landscaping a cemetery garden.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Brian Roberts enters the crematory at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

Lipsticked kisses are left on a marker at the cemetery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

A balloon drifts through the cemetery after becoming detached from a grave.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Cemetery grounds keepers

Pictures in the News | January 6, 2015

Tuesday's Pictures in the News begins in Bulgaria, where people holding national flags perform the national horo dance in the icy waters of the Tundzha River during celebration...   View Post»

   

Cemetery grounds keepers

Reader photos: Best of Southern California moments for October 2013

Surf's up! At least that's what Sung Lee would have us think. I love the first image in our set, titled "Board Meeting." Lee got together a couple of cheap suits, a surfboard...   View Post»

   

Cemetery grounds keepers

Japanese Internment: Poston

June 6, 1943: Los Angeles Times staff photographer George Watson and staff representative Chester G. Hanson take a tour of the Poston War Relocation Center. Starting on June...   View Post»

   

Protesters clash with LAPD officers in Westlake

Protesters clash with LAPD officers in Westlake

Protesters clashed again with LAPD officers Wednesday night over the police killing of Manuel Jamines in the Westlake district on Sunday. Twenty-two people were arrested...   View Post»

Cemetery grounds keepers

As members of the grounds and interment crews at Mountain View Cemetery, Willie Roberts and Sammy Treto put care into providing a beautiful resting place for people’s deceased loved ones. Together, they have contributed more than 68 years working at the cemetery in Altadena, California. It’s been Willie’s only job since he was 18 years old.

Each man also has a more intimate connection to this peaceful place: Willie’s mother, uncle and two brothers are interred at the Mountain View Mausoleum, and a good friend of Sammy’s lies at rest there as well.

Willie and Sammy will forever be connected to the grounds they have tended, as each has already purchased a resting place in the cemetery or mausoleum for themselves.

Watch the video by Katie Falkenberg and read full story by Thomas Curwen “Between the sacred and the mundane.”

2 Comments

  1. June 20, 2011, 8:53 pm

    […] me of follow-up comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. /* */ /* */ PREVIOUS POSTCemetery groundskeepersYou've reached the end […]

  2. June 21, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Nice to know that these gentlemen show a great deal of respect for someone's loved ones remains. Kind of comforting as we all face our own mortality… God bless these men for their caring natures…..

    By: grandmaforliberty

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published