Frequently Asked Questions
We have heard many questions, and have chosen to provide the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.
How do I leave a donation to a memorial in honor of a loved one?
In order to leave a donation, simply pick up a memorial envelope next to the register book, fill it out completely with your donation enclosed, and a staff member will collect it from you. If you completely fill out the envelope, it becomes a mailing label for the family to use when writing thank-you letters, so you can greatly decrease their stress and workload. After a service, we will take care of sending the memorial donations to the proper charity, and the family will be notified of your contribution so they may thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
- What is the difference between a funeral and a memorial service?
The funeral is a ceremony proven to be worthwhile and valuable for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for survivors, and others who share in the loss, to express their love, respect and grief. Funerals provide mourners the opportunity to directly and realistically face the crisis death presents. Through the funeral, the bereaved take the first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss. A memorial service is different from a funeral service because no body is present; although the deceased may be there in cremated remains form. Memorial services typically take place after cremation has been effected as a way to honor the deceased.
- What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a previous plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.
- Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure the funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us at (620) 583-5575 to explore the possibilities.
- Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well. Public viewings or visitations also offer friends and family the opportunity to visit with members of the deceased's family prior to the actual funeral service. A visitation can be a source of comfort for mourners during a difficult time.
- Why do we need an obituary and notices left around town?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary published announcing the death and type of service to be held. An obituary can be placed in the local newspaper, other newspapers for a fee, and also on the internet. Another helpful way to notify family, friends, and community members of a death is by having notices left in businesses around town, because that will not only let people know a death has occurred, but also indicates all service information so they can plan to attend.
- What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties; they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisers and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help.
- What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (620) 583-5575. Although we have an answering service that will answer the phone on nights and weekends, we will still be notified of your call and be able to make arrangements to meet with you. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it is certainly acceptable, and then someone will come when the time is right for you.
- What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral director of choice immediately. He will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. While they may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as their agent, your local funeral director will take full charge of all the necessary arrangements.
- What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty coping with the death.
- Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. However, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming is required if the deceased is being transported to another state or country.
- Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral followed by cremation or a cremation followed by a memorial service.
- Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not prevent you from having a visitation, a funeral, or a memorial service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.
- How much does a funeral cost?
Depending on the choices one makes, a funeral can be as cost-effective as the family would like. The only true way to determine the cost of a funeral is to come in and sit down with one of our funeral directors to discuss your options.
- Has this cost increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.
- Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, family cars, hearses, etc.), and these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.
- What recourse does a consumer have for poor service or overcharging?
While most funeral homes provide outstanding services, sometimes things can go wrong. Funeral service is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and state licensing boards. In most cases, the consumer should discuss problems with the funeral director first. If the dispute cannot be solved by talking with the funeral director, the consumer may wish to contact the FTC by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357); TDD: 1-866-653-4261; by mail: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580; or on the Internet at www.ftc.gov, using the online complaint form. You may also choose to contact the local Better Business Bureau, or your state consumer protection office.
- Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.
Cemetery Common Questions
The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours is not listed, we invite you to call us. We are here to provide the information you need, when you need it.
- Can the vault be personalized?
Yes, we can show you the wide range of personalization choices, including customized nameplates and military insignias.
- Are there vaults for cremated remains?
Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.
- Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No, embalming is not required for burial. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial.
- Must I purchase a burial vault?
In most areas of the country, cemeteries require that you have a container to surround the casket so the ground will not sink. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.
- What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?
Mausoleum crypts are both clean and dry. They offer a viable alternative for those who simply have an aversion of being interred in the ground. Furthermore, with the growing shortage of available land for cemetery use, mausoleums will allow for a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space.
- What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.