Post Content

Each year, family members, former residents of the Belchertown State School, staff and friends gather at the Warner Pine Grove Memorial Cemetery to honor those who had once resided at the facility, and have passed.Belchertown State School Memorial

The Warner Pine Grove Cemetery is the final resting place for 204 residents who passed away at the institution between the years 1923 and the mid-seventies. Originally named the Pine Grove cemetery, it was dedicated in the 1980’s to Alfred Warner. The Warner family had been strong advocates for the improvements that were made to this cemetery, making it a respectable resting place for those buried there. Since that dedication, the yearly Memorial Ceremonies continue.

This year’s ceremony began with opening remarks from Dan Lunden, the Central West Regional Director of DDS. Representative Thomas Petrolati also spoke. Prayers from all faiths were offered by Sister Joan Magnani of Jericho House, Rabbi Joyce Galaski, and Monsignor Gregg Shumway. Names of former residents that had passed during the year are shared, and the participants are encouraged to offer their personal remembrances. Area Director Mary Lee Daniels shared her memories on those individuals who had left the facility and had come to live their remaining years in the Berkshire Area. Other attendees offered personal experiences of their own lives at Belchertown, and their appreciation of this event being held each year.

Written By:


DDS Commissioner

Communications Director, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Recent Posts

DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences posted on May 13

DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences

Did you know anyone in Massachusetts with an EBT card can get reduced or free admission into more than 10 museums across the Commonwealth? The MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) partners with educational and cultural institutions statewide granting access to some of the state’s   …Continue Reading DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences

MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership posted on May 11

MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership

During my brief time serving as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission of the Blind (MCB), I have had the pleasure to present numerous awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the blindness community.  Last month, I was asked to make another   …Continue Reading MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership

Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance posted on May 9

Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance

In honor of national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) will host and participate in several events that follow the national theme: Life with a Mental Illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans will   …Continue Reading Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance