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Who will be the “Hub” for Death Care??

This has got to be a common problem as America gets more and more transient in regards to moving to different locations and moving away from home.  Last week I had heard that “John”, a neighbor at our lake cabin, had passed away at his home in suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul.  I wanted to find out about services and possibly leave an internet note on a funeral home website for his family. So, I went to where I sometimes go. . […]

Cemetery Products

New Hampshire community delays “Green Burial” decisions

A New Hampshire community has again delayed – until at least Spring 2022 – the decision on an ordinance to allow “Green Burials” in two city owned cemeteries.  The City Manager of Lebanon City, New Hampshire, Shaun Mulholland, was quoted in this article from Valley News as saying, “This has gone on for two years now.  It really shouldn’t have gone on this long, quite frankly.” Mulholland was referring to the decision made in early December that the Lebanon City […]

Business Products

“Greening” the traditional death care options

You can’t get away from it anywhere.  There is a lot of talk on the national political stages about “Green Energy” and the environmental movement.  In the death care world we have been hearing that recomposition (the art of human composting) and alkaline hydrolysis (known by some as “cremation by water”) are going to be the ways our industry helps out in this movement. While we are thinking about our solutions here, there are some in Great Britain who are […]

Business Products

The new casket merchants seek to raise funds

The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) says the 2020 cremation rate in the United States was 56.1%.  That same reliable group says that within the next decade – in 2030 – the national cremation rate will rise to 72.8%.  Considering the fact that the vast majority of cremations in the United States do not use a traditional casket. . . . you might say that the casket business looks pretty bleak in the future. In addition, Hillenbrand Industries, parent […]

Business Products

The coming Unstoppable Force Paradox of Funeral Service

The other day I came across this article from a publication called Mic.  The article was entitled, “I feel like a Survivor – inside the Funeral Industry’s 2021 National Convention”.  To say the article was interesting. . .and even somewhat eye-opening might actually be an understatement. You can read the article here. The article is authored by Eleanor Cummins who apparently is a writer and not a member of the death care profession.  When I Googled her bio. . .here […]

Products Regulations

58 years ago today – The Kennedy assassination. . .and the story of the Kennedy casket

Imagine it is lunch time at the funeral home you work at when you get a call from the hospital two miles away that you need to immediately bring the best casket you have to the hospital.  And, by the way, it is for the President of the United States. That’s the call that Vernon B. O’Neal of O’Neal’s Funeral Home received on November 22, 1963 — 58 years ago today.  O’Neal happened to be the only person at the […]

Business Finance Products

My hunch: Inflation, other factors will lead to rapid acceptance of “Online Direct Cremation”

Thursday night into Friday morning brought Minnesota’s first snowfall of the 2021-2022 winter season.  It was light, but created slippery conditions outside that forced me onto an indoor treadmill run on Friday morning.  My 2 1/2 mile daily run is punctuated by the fact that I have a lot of stamina. . . just not a lot of speed.  On an indoor run, the result of that fact is I get about 25 minutes to catch up with the morning […]

Business Products

Extending your revenue lines from a big picture point of view

Back in about 1990 I made funeral arrangements for a 55-year old who died of a sudden heart attack.  His widowed wife eventually talked to me about an idea for our funeral home which was based on the premise of what we now call “Aftercare”.  At that time our funeral home did not have a formal program, nor had we really thought about it. The widow, who later became our “Aftercare Coordinator” believed that we should be helping people — […]

Business Products

The Segmentation of an Industry

I recently read this article from The Irish Catholic where Joseph Behan of Hibernian Funerals explained that Covid-19 has changed many things about death care in Ireland.  For instance, he told of the “Tell us Once” format where instead of notifying the post office, the credit union, your bank and others of your death there is now a movement to tell the government of the death and everyone with a need to know gets notified from that notice. He also […]

Business Cemetery Products

Back to the Future

The World Series has been played for the past two weeks and I’m a baseball fan. . . and former little league coach.  I’m “Old School” and don’t particularly like the “data-driven” strategy decisions used in today’s game of baseball.  I like the past when you watched a hitter’s feet move to determine if they could hit a curve-ball rather than “check the charts”. In Death Care there is old-school also.  This article from Atlas Obscura portrays a wonderful picture […]