The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 25, 2013

Would you put a code on your headstone?

OTTUMWA — It’s not here just yet, but there is a day not far off when taking your smart phone to the cemetery might be essential.

QR codes are small, square digitized codes. One of the most common uses is for online links or coupons. Smart phones can carry apps to let you read them, sending your phone’s browser to the appropriate page.

But the codes can link to just about anything online, including obituaries or memorial websites. They’re starting to show up on headstones as ways for families to memorialize their loved ones.

The earliest online mentions of the practice date back to in Japan about six years ago. They've been showing up in Europe and the United States more recently.

The idea is just now making it into southeast Iowa. Gene Rathje, who serves as Ottumwa’s cemeteries superintendent, said the idea hasn’t come up here yet. Is it something the city would allow?

“We don’t, but we also don’t have regulations on it,” he said. “Right now, none of us have ever heard of it before.”

He’s not alone. Susan Wemer of Bill Patterson Monument Co., was new to the idea as well.

“I haven’t heard any families ask about that yet,” she said.

Neither has Jack Fuller at Fuller Monument. But he had heard of the practice.

“I’ve been thinking about it, too, because there was one company that was offering something. I haven’t gotten into the details,” he said.

The codes on headstones vary. Some are laser etched into the stone itself. Others use a small plaque, usually porcelain or metal, which is adhered to the stone.

The codes do raise some concerns. Some focus on the codes themselves. What if the company hosting the linked content goes out of business? What if the code weathers and makes it unreadable?

Text Only
Local News
  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 billion mark OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 billion mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook