Living Tribute

Hamilton’s Living Tribute Program

A History

Hamilton’s Living Tribute Project began as a partnership between Hamilton’s Funeral Home and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden in 1986. The goal of this project was for Hamilton’s to give back to the entire community in a tangible way and also in a way that would honor the families that Hamilton’s has served.

Today, Hamilton’s goal to give back to the community continues through our partnership with the Blank Park Zoo. The mission of the Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. Hamilton's mission is to serve our client families and one another, adapting to the desires of each person seeking our help.

Memorial Gift Donation

Each year Hamilton’s gives a monetary donation to help to continue to enhance the Blank Park Zoo and perpetuate their mission.  This donation is given in honor of those families who have entrusted their loved one into our care during the past year. This annual gift is used by the Zoo to enhance and grow their programming, education, displays, grounds, and to enrich the lives of the animals in their care.  One special project that Hamilton’s donations have helped to complete in the Spring of 2019 is the Zoo’s “Sensory Garden.” This is a special place of quiet and solitude for those that need a break from the hustle and bustle and indulge in the senses.

Dedication Ceremony

Each summer, a Living Tribute Dedication Ceremony is held at the Blank Park Zoo. The families who Hamilton’s has served the previous 12 months receive a personal invitation to this annual event. During the ceremony, a particular area of the Zoo is dedicated, in honor of those who have died during the past year.  Each attendee is given a beautiful keepsake program listing the names of those being honored.

Memorial Books on Display

At each of our Hamilton’s Funeral Homes, we display beautiful Living Tribute Books which list all of the names of those persons remembered over these many years.  In addition, there are beautiful leather-bound Memorial Albums kept in the main lobby at the Blank Park Zoo for families to look through to locate their loved one’s name whenever they are visiting the Zoo.


It is our hope that Hamilton’s partnership with the Zoo gives our families a chance to continue to honor their loved ones in a tangible, ongoing way, while simultaneously enjoying an ever-changing, ever-growing gem in our community – the Blank Park Zoo!

 The following special video was created to honor those who have died whose families Hamilton's has served between the dates of August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020:

We will plan to hold an in-person Living Tribute Dedication in September, 2021 to honor them as well.  Invitations will be mailed in August, 2021.

If you would like to submit changes to the way your loved one's name is displayed in our Living Tribute Memorial Albums, please fill out the proper form by clicking on the button: 
Submit Name Changes