May 4, 2010 |
California funeral directors are eager to start offering clients a new natural and greener way to dispose of their loved ones' remains, but they need a change in state law first. Funeral homes and crematoria want to use a liquid chemical process to dissolve bodies instead of cremating them with fire. "It's green. It's clean. It's environmentally friendly and it reduces the carbon footprint," said California state Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona), who wrote legislation to make the so-called bio-cremation method legal.
July 15, 2009 |
A South Carolina judge has ordered the closing of a funeral home where a worker cut the legs off a body so it would fit in a casket. Judge Deborah Durden upheld last month's decision by the state Funeral Board to revoke the license of Cave Funeral Home and owner Michael Cave. Cave admitted in an administrative court that his Allendale funeral home cut the legs off 6-foot-7 James Hines five years ago and did not tell his family. Cave said he didn't want grieving relatives to suffer more.
May 29, 2009 |
"Departures" is a gentle film about a quiet man in conflict with his world, his father, himself. It is also about death and its rituals. Yet the film manages to be anything but dark; whimsy and sweet irony are laced throughout, a warmhearted blend that turned it into the surprise winner of 2008's Oscar for foreign-language film.
May 25, 2009 |
Nearly two weeks after a smuggler's boat capsized and the bodies of nine Haitian migrants were found floating off the coast of Florida, three remain unidentified. But the local Haitian community says they will not go unclaimed. Fritz Gerald Duvigneaud and others want to see to it that all the victims have funerals, where people can remember their struggle. "These people have been through so much," said Duvigneaud, who owns a funeral home. "They deserve a proper burial."
April 6, 2009 |
A funeral home that helps handle veterans awaiting burial at Arlington National Cemetery left corpses in an unrefrigerated garage, in hallways and on makeshift gurneys, according to a former embalmer who has given his photographs and notes to authorities, the Washington Post reported Sunday. "It was disturbing and disrespectful and unethical," said Steven Napper, a retired Maryland trooper who worked at the funeral home for nine months.
September 21, 2008 |
The abandoned ashes are stacked floor to ceiling in the basement of the Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors, tucked neatly on wooden shelves and tables and in an unused dumbwaiter. Someone loved the people once, enough to have their bodies cremated -- then promptly forgot or decided they didn't want them. "The fact is, if no one claims them, there's nothing you can do with them," said funeral director Peter Stefanof Worcester. "You can't throw them away. They could be Uncle Freddy's ashes.
August 30, 2008 |
A man who made millions of dollars by plundering funeral homes' bodies and selling the often-diseased parts to medical companies pleaded guilty to a raft of charges that could send him to prison for life. Michael Mastromarino, 44, of Fort Lee, N.J., pleaded guilty to abusing corpses, forgery, theft and other allegations stemming from an operation that authorities say he ran with three Philadelphia funeral directors. The scam also involved funeral homes in New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said.
October 28, 2007 |
You can't cheat death. So you might as well face it as a smart shopper. Planning a funeral used to fall almost entirely to funeral homes, which guided bereaved loved ones into standardized deals that might have included services or items the dearly departed might not have chosen. But federal and state laws have put the power of choice into the hands of consumers, and more and more people are taking advantage of it by planning their own send-offs, thereby controlling the cost.
November 1, 2006 |
Four were teenagers. Thirty were 21 or younger. The oldest was 53. They left homes in big cities and small prairie towns and Southern hamlets to answer the call of duty in Iraq, where 103 soldiers, Marines, airmen and seamen died in October -- the war's fourth-deadliest month and the worst since January 2005. On the final day of October, Sgt. 1st Class Tony L. Knier, who needed his mother's permission to join the Army at 16, returned in a casket to the coarse green hills of central Pennsylvania.
September 17, 2005 |
Everyone at the Rhodes Funeral Home felt a little better when they heard that Emile Minor had been laid to rest. Minor, a 92-year-old retired postal carrier, was the first of the flood dead that the family funeral business had helped to bury. He died alone, strapped into a wheelchair in a van, during a frantic evacuation from a hospital in New Orleans.